Recurrent unclaimed bodies irk Kabale RDC

Recurrent unclaimed bodies irk Kabale RDC
The woodland that holds the cemetery | Lukia Nantaba

Last week, residents living around the hospital complained over a foul stench that was emanating from the bodies in the mortuary.

KABALE | The Kabale Resident District Commissioner, Godfrey Nyakahuma, has summoned an urgent meeting of leaders in Kigezi sub-region following the recent incident in which six bodies remained unclaimed for more than four months at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital mortuary.

Last week, residents living around the hospital complained over a foul stench that was emanating from the bodies in the mortuary.

One of the mortuary attendants at the hospital told to our reporter on condition of anonymity that five bodies had been in the mortuary since November 2023, and the other was of a 21-year-old Rwandan national, James Tuyizere, who passed away last month while traveling from Kampala to Kisoro district by bus.

Our reporter visited the Kabale mMunicipality cemetery where the burial of unclaimed bodies is usually done, including the recent one of burying the six bodies.

However, residents mostly the business community say the problem has been recurrent, adding that whenever there are unclaimed bodies in the mortuary, it is always unbearable to live or transact any businesses near the hospital,

“There is a blame game between the Kabale municipal authorities and the neighbouring local governments on who is responsible to burr the bodies,"RDC Nyakahuma  said.

"Each local government should set aside land for a mortuary where to bury bodies of unclaimed bodies."

Efforts to get a comment from the Kabale town clerk Justine Barekye were fruitless, as she declined to comment, claiming to be in endless meetings.

The acting Kabale Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Gordon Manzi, said the district is financially constrained since it doesn’t have a special budget to cater for the burial of those unclaimed bodies.

“The burial of each unclaimed body requires more than Shs300,000," he said.

Manzi added that they have tasked all subcounties to set aside land for a mortuary where to always bury bodies of people picked from each respective subcounty and also set aside a special funding for the same in their budget.

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