Rights group rejects claims that more bodies were retrieved from Yala River

Villagers stare at an unidentified body that was discovered in River Yala, Siaya County early this year.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has dismissed claims that seven more bodies had been retrieved from the River Yala.

Chairperson Roseline Odede said their investigations concur with remarks made by Yala Sub-County Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Bruno Okal. 

“We visited the facility and got a report from the officials and it indicated that only three bodies were retrieved from the river previously. We have established that there was no new dumping of bodies in the river,” Ms Odede said.

The seven unidentified bodies at the hospital’s mortuary relate to different incidents, including road accidents, she said.

Slow process

But Ms Odede decried the slow process of identifying the bodies, saying it should not take more than three months.

“The process should be hastened. We know there are people out there who are looking for their missing kin,” she said.

She also confirmed that 14 of the bodies retrieved earlier from the river had been disposed of by the hospital through a court order. Some 13 bodies were identified through DNA analysis and were collected by relatives and buried.

Yala hospital administrators last week asked families with missing relatives to visit the morgue and find out if they could be among the seven bodies.

Dr Okal claimed the bodies were collected from different spots at the River Yala.

He also said the mortuary could only preserve “a maximum of 16 bodies, and the bodies also needed sophisticated equipment that the facility lacks”.

Kenyans were shocked earlier this year when dozens of unclaimed bodies retrieved from River Yala piled up at the hospital’s mortuary.


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