• What is a death certificate?

A death Certificate is a civil document issued by the Government as an official record for someone who dies anywhere in Kenya. Once the certificate is issued, it becomes the proof of registration.  It is required by the Kenyan Government to register a death.



Importance of death certificate

  • Death Certificate is legal proof of death.
  • It provides the particulars of the deceased i.e. name, age, sex, residence, occupation, date of death, place, and cause of death.
  • It can be useful in making changes to the Proof of Registration (POR) eg with UNHCR
  • It can be useful in proving death during the resettlement or any other processes
  • It can prove one is an orphan /widow/widower and can prove vulnerability during the resettlement process.
  • It is necessary when closing the deceased’s records eg with UNHCR and DRS.
  • It gives the government statistics on population, causes of death, life expectancy, etc.
  • It’s important when dealing with inheritance issues and establishing family ties with the deceased.

What is the process of acquiring a death certificate?

To get a  death certificate; the following steps must be followed:

  1. Death notification,
  2. Death registration
  3. Issuance of the death certificate.

Death Notification and Registration Process in Dadaab

  • Death Notification

The death can happen at the hospital or at home, Death notification must be done within the first month from the date when the person died.

  • Hospital death:

If the death happened at the hospital, notification of death/ a burial permit, (A burial permit is a required document to be acquired before a body can be buried or cremated) is issued immediately by the hospital.


The following are the steps taken in case the death happened at the hospital:

  • The medical officers/practitioners must confirm that death has occurred at the hospital bed.
  • They will fill in a death registration form (D1) in 3 copies, notifying that the person died at the hospital.
  • They will give the original death registration form (D1) to next-of-kin of the deceased.
  • The next-of-kin will take the form with the original Refugee ID or UNHCR POR through UNHCR to the Registrar of Births and Deaths for registration.
  • A permit to dispose of body is issued (usually the next-of-kin is given the original and a copy to submit to Registrar for a permit to be issued)

Home Death

Home deaths are registered by the Assistant Chief who is the gazette assistant registrar and should be reported immediately or within 3 months.

The following are the steps one needs to take.

  • Report the case to the Assistant Chief’s office or the Chief in the area.
  • Report the case at the police station which will confirm that the death is not being considered a criminal act.
  • The Assistant Chief will fill out the D1 form and should be accompanied by the original Refugee ID.
  • The forms are sent to the Registrar.
  • A permit to dispose of body is issued (usually the next-of-kin is given the original and a copy to submit to Registrar for a permit to be issued

Death Notification is mandatory and can be done by:

  • Nearest relatives present at the time of death or last illness.
  • Other relatives living near the deceased 
  • The person that was there during the death
  • A person living in the house where the death happened.
  • Anyone finding or taking charge of the body or causing the body to be buried/disposed of.

What information is required when reporting a death?

  • Name, age, nationality, and occupation of deceased
  • Cause and place of death
  • Where the deceased lived
  • Name of the person reporting (relative)
  • Death Registration.

Once the Registrar receives the original and copy of the death registration form from the relative or the next of kin, the registrar will enter the particulars of the deaths notified to them into the register, and the death certificate is processed.

Late Registration 

This occurs after the expiry of 3 months after a death has happened. The following is how to do late registration.

  • Applicant to obtain a police report/letter from the chief/health institution confirming the death.
  • Applicant to obtain an affidavit confirming the death.  An affidavit is a written statement confirmed by oath for use as evidence in court
  • Refugee ID card of deceased if an adult
  • Refugee ID card of applicant
  • UNHCR POR (Proof of Registration) of deceased
  • Complete the D1 and D4 forms for late registration at the Sub Chief’s office and a letter from the Chief
  • Present the documents to a UNHCR Officer near you.

-The fee for late registration is Ksh 150/=  


For more Legal assistance and information on acquiring any Civil Documents call the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Dadaab on 0110014910


If you have any questions, please write to us via the  Julisha.Info Facebook page or chat with us on WhatsApp (+254110601820) Monday through Friday from 08:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m