State proposes mass burial for victims

Published on 03/02/2009

By Steve Mkawale and Karanja Njoroge

Victims of the oil tanker fire tragedy could be buried in a mass grave.

The Government on Monday said out of the 120 confirmed dead, only two could be positively identified.

“The rest were burnt beyond recognition and we have left it up to a sub-committee in Molo District,” said Rift Valley PC Hassan Noor Hassan.

Mr Hassan said the committee was deliberating on the burial, but the families would have the final say.

Sources said the State was pushing for a mass burial that would avoid huge expenses that come with DNA testing.

“We have told leaders and villagers that DNA would take long. Take the case of the Kiambaa church fire tragedy. The bodies are still in the mortuary and the Government is incurring expenses,” said a source at a leaders meeting held in Molo on Monday.

The general hospital and Municipal Council of Nakuru mortuaries are overwhelmed.

They are still storing 40 bodies of victims of post-election violence. Mortuary attendants told The Standard the State was yet to approve their disposal.

Meanwhile, the Government has announced plans to set up a fund to assist the fire victims.

The PC said they planned to hold a fundraising on Thursday at a yet to be confirmed venue.

“Leaders have agreed that the funds drive will be on Thursday, but will communicate the venue later,” said the administrator.

The money raised would assist families and victims,” Noor said.

He, however, could not reveal how much the Government would contribute, but said details would be communicated later.

“Most of those in hospital are aged between 14 and 35,” said a medic at the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital.

The hospital’s Medical Superintendent George Mugenya said most of the patients were responding well to treatment.

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