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Sorry State of Hoima Municipal Mortuary Irks Residents

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Daniel Kaseregenye, the Hoima Municipal town clerk told URN that they are set to renovate the facility this financial year. He says the facility is to be painted and fenced before they install electricity and water.
The Hoima Municipal Mortuary in a Busy Environment

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Residents around Hoima Municipal Mortuary are up in arms against the authorities for failing to upgrade the facility. The mortuary operates in a tiny dilapidated building in Ishaka Kijungu Kahoora in Division.

The walls are overgrown with grass. During the rainy season, water sips through the walls. The air around the facility is covered by a heavy stench from decomposing bodies, attracting a swarm of flies. Some of the windows in the mortuary are broken and haven't been replaces.

Hawks and other predatory birds easily access the mortuary to peck the decomposing bodies. The mortuary also lacks electricity and running water. Patrick Busobozi, a resident near the facility, says the condition of the mortuary is appalling.

He says the bad smell at the mortuary is caused by delayed collection of bodies.  He says decomposing bodies are left to rot in the facility creating havoc to the neighboring community.

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Joyce Atuhairwe, another resident says the smell from the decomposing bodies makes life difficult for them. She says they are at times forced to abandon eating food due to the bad smell.

Atuhairwe challenges the municipal Authorities to come to their rescue and contain the situation. Our reporter visited the facility on Monday afternoon and found two bodies wrapped in a papyrus mat rotting away.

The bodies are believed to have been dumped in the mortuary by police last week. Julius Hakiza, the Albertine Region Police Spokesperson, says after recovering unclaimed bodies of murder and accident victims, they take them to the mortuary.

He says it is the responsibility of the municipal authorities to organize and bury the unclaimed bodies.

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A doctor from Hoima Hospital who spoke to URN on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media explains that they face a lot of difficulties while carrying out postmortem on some bodies at the facility due to the filthy smell.

Ronald Basiima, the Kicwamba ward councilor, says the problem of uncollected bodies at the facility is attributed to lack of coordination between police and municipal officials. He says at times police ferry bodies to the facility and don't alert the municipal Authorities.

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Daniel Kaseregenye, the Hoima Municipal town clerk told URN that they are set to renovate the facility this financial year. He says the facility is to be painted and fenced before they install electricity and water.

He says they have already allocated money towards the renovation of the mortuary but doesn't specify the amount. In 2009, Hoima Municipal officials told URN that they were to work on the mortuary but to date nothing has been done.