Cash crunch stalls city mortuary facelift
The planned rehabilitation of City Mortuary has hit a snag due the financial drought facing the county Government.
According to a junior attendant at the facility, the Sh500 million set aside for its refurbishment in the current budget has not been forthcoming despite assurances from County Hall.
“Work here is slow; it is not the complete overhaul that we were meant to believe. We are told there is no money to do it,” said the officer.
Over the years, City Mortuary has been synonymous with pungent stench that ushers visitors. But workers say they are accustomed to the repulsing smell of decomposing bodies, something that is more of a case of helplessness.
With frequent breakdown of coolers, piles of unclaimed rotting bodies are a common occurrence.
The financial drought has been occasioned by the resistance of city residents to comply with the new rates which are meant to fund the bulk of the 2013/2014 budget.
But according to Dr Robert Ayisi, the county director of medical services, all is going on as planned.
“Work is going on well, I am not aware of any budgetary constraints to the rehabilitation.
In fact we want to upgrade it to the level of a funeral home,” he told NairobiNews.
Some of the capital projects Governor Evans Kidero had put in focus is the rehabilitation of Pumwani Maternity, the City Mortuary and a number of health centres at a combined cost Sh1.8 billion.
But all these now hang in the balance as it become apparent that it was not an easy sail for Dr Kidero’s administration.
His Finance minister Gregory Mwakanongo confirmed this reality.
“Some of the activities (development projects) will be affected although we have not identified the projects likely to be pushed forward,” he said.
Refusing to comply
He said the revenue stream had been hampered by either tax payers moving to court to challenge new rates or traders refusing to comply.
In June last year, Dr Kidero expressed concern that Sh300 million was being spent on the mortuary annually while over the same period, it only earns the county Sh30 million in income.
He promised to construct another mortuary to ease pressure on the Ngong Road-located facility.
“I will see to it that we have an ultra-modern mortuary fitted with modern facilities,” he said.