MIGORI – Residents of Kiterere village in Ragana, Migori County have raised an alarm over an increasing number of dead bodies exhumed by wild animals in the area.
The residents have been forced to live with the stench emanating from a nearby make-shift cemetery where the animals have been exhuming the bodies buried in shallow graves.
According to the locals, hyenas have been exhuming and fighting over the bodies and scattering the remains all over the village.
Led by Emma Ambura, the villagers said they wake up to the remains pulled from the shallow graves with the bones strewn across the graveyard.
Ambura said that a total of about ten fresh graves had been completely unearthed with bones, flesh, blankets and body bags used in the burials strewn across the site.
“It is scary as the hyenas howling at night fighting over bodies is very disturbing. Villagers who venture into the site to grave or playing kids have horror stories to tell. When the wind changes direction we are left to deal with the stench,” said Ambura.
Another villager, Hudson Saisi, said they are afraid the hyenas would turn against them when the bodies run out.
Reuben Choga explained that the hyenas only started terrorizing them weeks ago after they started losing sheep and their children started having weird games when playing which revolved around dead bodies in graves.
“It is very disturbing when young children see dead bodies, some pick bones when playing and they are traumatized,” Choga said.
In October 2017 residents also complained of trauma and risk of contracting diseases as dogs exhume bodies from poor maintained in the same public cemetery which was covered.
The cemetery has been neglected without maintenance or any proper development on how to dispose off bodies and even how to get burial permits, despite calls to rectify the claims.
When contacted for comment, Environment Executive Rebbeca Maroa said because of Covid 19 restrictions she was working from home and the issue was not in her comment and directed it to be handled by her health counterpart Kephas Nyamita.
“It is an environment hazard, but at the department we dispose garbage and not bodies,” she said.
Nyamita said the county does not recognize the site which was inherited from council and they have never buried a body there.
“Sometimes it is locals who bury there, we have never buried a body at the siite. I will find out about it” Nyamita said.