Burying as an interment method and its impact on land in Kenyan urban areas
Murigu, Jennifer M
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Modern society has become increasingly concerned with how land is used. Its fixed supply and the increased demand exert pressure for land to be used more intensively. Conflicts often arise between different users that hold different views on how the land ought to be used. The urban land is worst hit by the increasing conflicts; its scarcity and the competitiveness calls for the highest and best use of such land. Its determination must be based on careful consideration of prevailing land prospects. Governments are mandated to allocate land for public purposes in spite of the prevailing economic stimulus and public cemeteries form one such use. Whether it is to be used or not, the public health legislation dictates that any major urban area must have a cemetery. However about two decades ago, public cemeteries had vast areas waiting to be utilized. Many people held their traditions dear and felt that burying of loved ones should only be done on the family�s ancestral land. However things have changed and more and more people are now willing to bury their loved ones in public cemeteries. Unlike in the past when it was felt that public cemeteries were meant for the poorest of the poor and the landless, the scenario has now changed. Wealthy and influential personalities are also finding their resting place in these cemeteries. Several individuals have reserved burial plots not only for themselves but other members of their families in these cemeteries. This change in practice, coupled with the increase in the population as well as a high mortality rate has led to an unprecedented competition for land in the urban areas between the living and the dead. It is against this background that the researchers sought to establish the impact of burying as an interment method on the available land in the urban areas of Kenya. This paper further seeks to establish the existence of other methods of interment, their impact on land, their acceptability and extent of use.