Workers at Langata Cemetery, one of the largest burial sites in Nairobi, are protesting delayed salaries.
During a protest at the cemetery grounds along Lang’ata Road on Wednesday, September 20, the workers claimed that they have not been paid for the past three months.
Consequently, the cemetery attendants locked the gates and ordered mourners to go back with the bodies of their loved ones until when the Nairobi County Government will clear their dues.
“We want to warn Governor Sakaja that no burial will take place at this ground until when we shall have received our payment in full.
Anti-riot Police Squad disperse protesters in Nairobi on May 16, 2016.
“They have been telling us that we would be paid the following day, yet it is all but a lie. We must be paid now, and we are not taking any more promises,” one of the workers stated.
The protest caused disruption to burial services at the cemetery as the workers set up bonfires both at the site and around the gates.
Media reports showed families of the deceased stranded with the bodies of their loved ones along Langata Road as they waited for a possible resolution.
“The Nairobi City County government needs to resolve the issue with the Langata cemetery workers as soon as possible so that families can bury their loved ones with dignity.
“Continued delay has caused a lot of emotional distress for the families, who are already grieving the loss of their loved ones,” one of the workers stated.
The workers are also demanding that the government improve working conditions at the cemetery.
They stated that they do not have the proper tools and equipment to do their jobs safely, and that the working environment is unhealthy.
Langata Cemetery, established in 1958, serves as the resting place for over 100,000 Kenyans.
However, the burgeoning population of Nairobi has brought forth pressing concerns regarding space constraints within the cemetery.
Additionally, Langata Cemetery grapples with the detrimental impact of illegal activities, including grave robbing and vandalism, which further compounds the challenges it faces.
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja at the Woodley Stadium as construction commenced on August 10, 2023