17th body found floating on Nairobi River during clean-up
A body of an infant has been found during the ongoing clean-up of Nairobi River in Korogocho area.
The discovery brings to 17 the number of bodies retrieved from the river since Governor Sonko launched the Nairobi River cleanup exercise early last year, according to Nairobi county government spokesman Elkana Jacob. So far, bodies of 13 infants and four adults have been retrieved from the river.
“Right now we are still in shock,” said Fredrick Okinda, chairman of Komb-Green Solutions, the organisation behind the clean-up. “One of us saw the floating baby and we rushed to save him as a team. We managed to recover him but he was already dead.”
This is the ninth baby his organisation has found in one section of the river in a few months. The team has buried the bodies in a makeshift grave next to the river.
Okinda believes that this was another aborted baby and has previously blamed illegal clinics for some of the bodies found.
In May, the clean-up crew found the body of an eight-year-old boy, just days after the bodies of twin babies were discovered in a plastic bag.
Abortions are illegal in Kenya, unless a woman’s life or health is in danger.
The news coincides with the first day of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which sees thousands of experts in sexual and reproductive health gather in Nairobi.
Some 6,000 people – including heads of state, government ministers and donors – will gather to discuss everything from sex education to maternal deaths and child marriage.
The event has come under fire from Christian groups who claim that it is promoting abortion and homosexuality in Kenya.
At a press conference on Monday, Saitoti Torome, Principal Secretary at the State Department of Planning, said authorities had been engaging with faith-based organisations to ensure that concerns were addressed.
“There is no attempt to push issues like homosexuality and abortion at this conference,” he said.
“This is a global summit, not a Kenya summit,” added Arthur Erken, UNFPA’s Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships.
“This is an important issue for women and girls and that is why we cannot shy away from these difficult issues. What to do with it afterward is the sovereign right of every nation.”