Kenya: Here's the True Story Behind This Heartbreaking 'Donkey Hearse'

Donkey-drawn cart transporting the deceased home for burial.
13 September 2019

It was double tragedy for relatives of a woman in Nyandarua County when they were forced to use a donkey-drawn cart to transport her body home for burial.

The intention of the family of Alice Njoki Njoroge was to use the most modern form of transport for the burial. So, they hired a hearse with a detached cart for the coffin.

What they know was that the poor state of the roads in the county would force them to hire donkeys to enable them complete the journey.

In the past, the county has witnessed expensive burials of prominent people who have land in Nyandarua but live elsewhere.

But Njoki's final send off proved that that bad roads can make a burial of an ordinary person an expensive affair and a spectacle.

Njoki, who died last week after an illness, was laid to rest on Thursday in Kirima village, Ol Bollosat location in Shamata Ward.

PICKED

The body that had been lying at the JM Kariuki hospital mortuary had been picked from the facility by family members and mourners using a hearse hoping to give the deceased a befitting send-off.

Trouble started when the hearse branched off from the Ol Kalou-Kipipiri road into a feeder road leading to their home.

The body had to be shifted to a donkey drawn cart after the hearse got stuck in the impassible road along the way.

"I am not happy that my daughter's body is being ferried home for burial on a donkey cart due to impassable roads. No one would wish this to happen to one of their relatives," cried Ms Esther Mugure, the deceased mother.

"The poor state of the feeder roads in the area have also seen us as farmers incur loses as our produce go to waste because we can't deliver them to the markets on time," said Mr James Mwangi, a local.

However, Nyandarua roads Executive Ndung'u Wangenye has said that a number of roads in the region had been graveled and repaired.

He said that contractors were still on site and were waiting for the rains to subside so that they can resume their work.

"It was raining heavily especially in areas like Shamata and Kinangop and the contractor who are already on site had to stop the work due to interruption.

"They are still on site and are waiting for the rains to subdue for them to resume work," said the Executive.

He at the same time revealed that about Sh3 million had been set aside for gravelling of the roads across Shamata ward.

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