Locals, leaders block burial of unclaimed corpses in cemetery

Circled is a grave where a dead body was buried. PHOTO BY IMMACULATE AMONY.

Locals of Bar-onger-go-down village in Railway division, Lira municipality on Saturday blocked a burial of unclaimed corpse from taking place at the municipal cemetery.

Two employees from Lira Regional Referral Hospital who had taken the corpse for sendoff were forced to return it back to the mortuary.

Locals say many unclaimed corpses buried there are often pulled out by dogs and pigs that later eat them.

Betty Kunde, the Local Council One chairperson of the area says grave diggers make shallow grave and force the body inside.

“Habitually the grave[s] is open leaving the stench from the decomposing bodies to pollute the entire atmosphere of the area,” Kunde says.

“You find them burying people in shallow small graves…dogs and pigs would then remove the body and move it around into the community with unbearable stench especially in evening hours,” she area leaders added.

The locals of the area have so far had three different meetings with municipal authorities, a meeting Ms. Kunde say stops further burying of unclaimed corpses in the area.

“Numerous meetings were held and municipal authorities assured us and agreed that the cemetery will be moved to another area,” she told this news website.

Kunde however revealed that since the assurance no action has been taken as they often see bodies taken there for sendoff.

Some of the burial materials captured from the cemetery.

Busingye Godfrey, a primary four pupil living in the area told this news website that he has had sleepless nights after consecutively finding a human skull in his father´s maize garden.

“I was going to check our maize garden when I found a human head on the ground, I ran back home and informed my parents,” a teenager revealed.

The following day, Busingye says he got a rib cage.

Richard Omara Awio, a councilor representing the people of Railway division in Lira district Council condemned the manner in which dead bodies are being buried.

Omara implores locals not to allow any body to be buried in their area until another meeting with Lira Municipality is convened.

“Normally when they bring these unclaimed bodies, the method they use for burying is not proper. How do you bury somebody when you are leaving the hands outside, the legs outside? This is not going well with the community because at the end of the day pigs and dogs visit the graveyard, pick these bodies; take it to gardens and even the doorsteps of other people,” Omara noted.

Richard Omara Awio, the Railway division LC5 Councilor

He says the presence of the cemetery is affecting the development of the area.

“What you (locals) have done today by chasing away that dead body is very important; continue with it. We don´t want any more dead bodies and we don´t want these people to be burying these people around here. This is where our people are living, this is where we are supposed to put residential buildings and this is where we are also supposed to put commercial houses and we shall not allow any more burial here,” Awio spoke with concern.

One big question that remains to be answered is why the municipal authorities have not yet shifted the burial site (cemetery) to Igel in Akalo Sub county, Kole district.

Reports say they acquired the new burial site which is located seven kilometers West of Lira district.

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