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Langata cemetery set for expansion

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 16 – The City Council of Nairobi (CCN) now wants to acquire land around the Langata Public Cemetery so as to be able to revamp it effectively.

Speaking to Capital News on Wednesday, the Director of City Planning Tom Odongo said huge tracts of land are needed to be able to transform the burial site into a scenic park.

He explained that the council will be liaising with the Ministry of Lands to be able to acquire land to be used for the initiative.

“We have established that there is availability of land to be able to expand. The budget is there and it will be done through what we currently call compulsory land acquisition,” he stated.

“We will ask the Ministry of Lands to acquire on our behalf,” he said.

He pointed out that City Hall would use proceeds from the transformed cemetery fees to run the place.

“The council will be getting income from that investment. And they may run it for a period of time and then hand it over.  What you call build, operate and transfer,” Mr Odongo stated.

“However, that would allow the council to access resources to be able to keep high standards of services even for the other people.”

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The Langata Public Cemetery is expected to be renovated at a cost of Sh24 million.

Half of that amount will be used to build a new wall around the cemetery while the remainder will go towards tarmacking the walkways between graves in an effort to make the cemetery a more dignified place for burial.

The houses within the compound will also be renovated and the roads tarmacked. 

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the cemetery with regard to its state and condition.

The council has also launched a clinic to deal with the needs of old people who do not have someone to take care of them within Nairobi.

Acting Deputy Medical Officer of Health Dr Juma Sindani observed that old people are almost always neglected and the clinic will cater for their unmet medical and physical needs.

Dr Sindani said:"It deals with an age group that usually is not visible. This is an almost neglected group which we need to offer services to. They have special needs and requirements that we need to address as per that group," he said."

Once we mix that group with the general population, we tend to lose them out since they are not that many and their needs normally get grounded," he stated.

He was speaking to Capital News where he stressed the need for both the government and private medical institutions to do more in addressing the needs of old people.

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"This one, I dare say, is the pioneer. The Ministries of Health and the Public Health and Sanitation need to look at ways of identifying this group as a needy group and tailoring the services to take care of them properly," he said.

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