Kenya: UON Lecturer Ken Ouko to Be Buried Friday in Homa Bay

University of Nairobi lecturer Ken Ouko will be buried Friday at his rural home in Kamuma, Nyandiwa Village, Homa Bay County.

The renowned sociologist succumbed to Covid-19 complications on Saturday morning, a few days after being admitted at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi.

His death brings to five the number of UoN lecturers who have died of Covid-19 since the pandemic struck the country in March.

60 MOURNERS

The funeral committee says a private service will be held at Nairobi Central SDA Church on Wednesday at 2pm and will be presided over by Pastor Jack Ogeda.

"Only 60 invited guests will physically attend due the Covid-19 restrictions. The church will provide YouTube and Facebook links for live broadcasts.

The body will leave Nairobi's Agha Khan Hospital mortuary at 10am on Thursday after a short prayer service at the Agha Khan Hospital Chapel.

At Ouko's home, a grave had been dug by Sunday and on Monday, workers were doing the final touches after cementing it.

"We are trying to avoid being ambushed by health officials who can bring the body for the burial at any moment," said his elder brother Boaz Olela.

"We have seen instances where families are asked to bury their loved ones when they are not ready. We did not want to have such an experience."

ISOLATION

The Ministry of Health requires the burials of Covid-19 victims to take place within 48 hours after death.

The family has asked public health officers from Homa Bay for guidance on the number of mourners who will attend the burial on Friday.

Mr Olela said the family was ready to give Ouko a decent send-off according to Luo traditions.

"There is nothing much to prepare because of the dangerous times we were living in," he said.

"We have already informed the county Covid-19 emergency response team. They will take charge of the whole process to ensure safety within the home."

The family plans to put up a structure for use by Ouko's wife and children during the burial as part of measures against the spread of the virus.

"His family are some of the people he came into contact with when he was sick. As a precautionary measure, the family will have to be isolated during the burial ceremony," he said, adding they will not interact with guests.

Other burial plans will be communicated later by a committee in Nairobi, where Ouko lived.

EULOGIES

Dr Ouko specialised in deviance and family matters, gerontology and medical sociology.

The announcement of Dr Ouko's death shocked his family, friends, colleagues and Kenyans from all walks of life who eulogised him as articulate, brilliant and humorous.

University of Nairobi Communications Director John Orindi said Ouko's death was a big setback to the sociology department as he played a critical role.

Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga and Kasipul MP Ong'ondo Were eulogised the lecturer as a brilliant son of the county.

Ms Wanga described the don as a great, ambitious, cheerful, caring and sociable man.

She asked the public to take seriously the measures for the prevention of Covid-19 infections.

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