Western Kenya residents are known for costly and elaborate send-off packages for their deceased relatives, a practice that has often rendered families poor, unable to meet their basic needs.
Speaking against the said practice, Butula Member of Parliament, Joseph Oyula, advised residents to cut on costs incurred during funerals, saying it disadvantages bereaved families.
“It does not make economic sense to slaughter several cows during the funeral of somebody that has left behind a financially drained family,” observed Oyula.
The MP lamented that majority of residents cannot afford three meals per day, yet when somebody dies, funeral committees are formed to draft budgets that go towards feeding mourners, thus, stifling the scarce resources available.
“The cost of living has skyrocketed, and therefore, it is necessary that we empathize with the bereaved poor, instead of camping at their home for several days to consume whatever little they have,” Oyula said.
The MP linked the situation with lack of development saying, many residents concentrate on conducting befitting send-off ceremonies as opposed to investing in income generating projects that would be of greater benefit to them.
“For us to develop as a community and accord our children quality education, we must desist from this exploitative practice that has made us wallow in poverty,” said Oyula, illustrating how some other communities are more focused on development, as opposed to expensive send-off ceremonies.
On education matters, he encouraged those who had applied for bursaries to be patient as the National Treasury had not yet released funds.
“We anticipate that come January 2023, the funds are going to be disbursed into our coffers to get the ball rolling,” assured the MP, saying that priority will be given to needy bright students.
Counties have not received their statutory allocation from the exchequer due to the fact that the new governments at national and county levels have been in the process of appointing and swearing in officials at various levels, after which normal operations are expected to resume.
By Joshua Opili