Kitale County Referral mortuary attendants threaten to strike over poor working conditions

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 7 Sep, 2021 19:16 | 2 mins read
Kitale county referral mortuary.PHOTO/COURTESY.

Activities at the busy Kitale county referral mortuary and Mt Elgon hospital mortuaries will be grounded after attendants through the workers union gave a three day ultimatum to get their pay or down their tools.

The nine casual laborers who are among more than five thousand workers have said that they have not been paid for the past three months in relation to the heavy work they encounter due to the increased cases of Covid-19.

Speaking to the press on condition of anonymity the nine, six of whom are from the former district mortuary and three from the reclaimed Mount Elgon hospital which serves as the private wing of the county referral facility claimed to be fearing for their lives adding that apart from salaries they lack basic necessities to undertake their job.

“Here we handle all kinds of bodies including Covid-19 deaths but we do not have the basic necessities. We have recycled gloves till they no longer bear their color blue when they were bought, we do not have gumboots and overalls that are necessary for our work.”

Apart from the protective equipment the morgue attendants say that the machines used to preserve the bodies have broken down forcing them to employ unconventional ways to make the bodies stay fresh.

“The cooling system in the container that we use to preserve the bodies broke down forcing us to dismantle the Mt Elgon cooler which also broke down leaving us to use wet blankets and charcoal to preserve the bodies which keep on piling each day especially with the government directive of all bodies to be taken to morgues before burials.”

This comes after a section of Trans Nzoia residents complained of the complete rundown of the health system in the county with most of the health facilities being in degradable conditions.

“We are wondering what the county government is doing to our health system. Everything seems to be in a sorry state whereas the CECM in charge and her chief officers are just idling around when our people are dying,” Celestine Nasimiyu a local from Kwanza Sub County told K24 Digital.

Through the trans Nzoia county government  workers union chairman Samwel Kiboi, the workers including 659 casuals have given an ultimatum to the county government to pay their dues or they down their tools.

During a presser at his office Kiboi said that the county government has failed the workers who are suffering for lack of a salary.

“My members are really suffering because the county government has failed to pay them their dues, equip them for work and also take care of their welfare.”

For now they are calling on the county government to pay the arrears and look into their affairs to enable them to conduct their duties well