Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has commenced a land swap deal negotiation with Kenya Forest Service as it seeks to secure new grounds to replace the filled-up Lang’ata cemetery.
The new development, if successful, will finally bring to an end the more than four years search for a new burial site for Nairobi residents.
NMS Director-General Mohamed Badi said the Ministries of Environment and Land is also party to the negotiations with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS).
The identified land is next to Lang’ata cemetery and will act as a burial site for Muslims, Christians and Hindus.
“We are engaging the entities to see if we can swap part of their land which is next to Lang’ata cemetery and give them (KFS) an alternative land in return. We, however, don’t know what the outcome will be,” said Mr Badi.
The NMs boss said the KFS land was the most suitable, noting that an alternative plot, which he did not disclose its location, is far away from Nairobi .
“The alternative was a bit far away and found it inconveniencing to have Nairobi residents travel many kilometers for burials,” he said.
The 100-acre Langata Cemetery, Nairobi’s official burial site, was declared full 20 years ago.
Several attempts by the Nairobi County government to get an alternative burial land have borne no fruit, either hitting a dead end or being mired in controversy.
This has forced families to bury their loved ones in shallow graves, on top of old graves.
Appeals by City Hall for residents to embrace cremations have fallen on deaf ears with the number of burials rising as cremation dips.