Moroto Left with No Cemetery as Land Reclaimed

1826 Views Abim, Uganda

In short
Moroto district does not have where to bury its dead after the land on which the municipal cemetery is located was reclaimed.

Moroto district does not have where to bury its dead after the land on which the municipal cemetery is located was reclaimed.

Established in the 1920S, Moroto town did not designate an official burial ground for its residents. Now its former cemetery that measures over 20 acres has been reclaimed by seven people from the ing’akaruok clan, who claim ownership.
An investigation carried out by Uganda Radio Network established that many bodies decompose to almost skeletons in the mortuary because of lack of where to bury them. Then a funeral gang hired on a day-today basis takes them for burial in a place yet to be identified.
Mohamed Rashid Pamita, a landlord, says he is determined to reclaim his ancestral land. He explains that they delayed to take up the land because the insecurity that prevailed in Karamoja for over four decades. He notes that though the land remains communally owned the land belongs to his late father Aturo Loodo.
//cue in:  “It’s ours,
Cue out:     .stop it.”//
//cue in:    “We are,
 Cue out:      .illegally.”//
Joseph Lochap, a resident urges that the owners of the land should take over the area because the municipality has failed even to manage the cemetery. Neighbouring residents complain that corpses have been buried half way leaving most parts exposed to dogs and hyenas to feast. He says these sights traumatize the people who live around the cemetery.
He says,
//cue in:  “We are,
Cue out:    .buried.”//
Alex Lemu, Moroto mayor, admits that the municipality does not have a burial ground. He adds that the owners of the land on which the present cemetery is located have already sold part of it to a developer.
//cue in:   “As you,
Cue out:    .unclaimed bodies.”//
Efforts to talk to Muzamil Akuma, the Moroto Town clerk were futile as his known lines were temporarily unavailable.


About the author

Olandason Wanyama
Olandason Wanyama is the Karamoja region bureau chief. Amudat, Nakapiripirit, Moroto, Abim, Kotido and Kaabong districts fall under his docket. Wanyama has been a URN staff member since 2012.

The former teacher boasts of 20 years journalism experience. Wanyama started out as a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor newspaper in 1991 in Entebbe. Wanyama also wrote for the army publication Tarehe Sita, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) magazine and The New Vision. While not on the beat, Wanyama taught child soldiers at Uganda Airforce School-Katabi.

Wanyama is very interested in conflict reporting, climate change, education, health and business reporting. He is also an avid photographic chronicler of vanishing tribal life in the East African region.