Accra, April 25, GNA - The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Public Health Director, Dr. Simpson Boateng, has denied reports that burial fees at Osu and Awudome cemeteries have been increased.
He said both cemeteries still charge GH ¢800.00 cedis for a burial plot adding that it was rather the operators of some private cemeteries who had increased their fees.
Dr. Boateng told the GNA in an interview that the fees had not been increased for some time now but AMA was making efforts to reduce overcrowding at the cemeteries.
He said measures adopted include opening up the southern portion of the Awudome Cemetery and the Osu Cemetery had also been expanded.
Dr Boateng said the practice of re-using a tomb after some time, that is burying another body in the same tomb, was introduced as part of the measure to make maximum use of the land for the dead.
On security measure at the various cemeteries, Dr. Boateng said AMA had plans to erect additional lighting system and to increase the height of the fence walls around the cemeteries.
On whether the AMA has any plans to privatize the management of cemeteries in Accra, Dr Boateng said the Authority has no plans yet but noted that the idea might be considered if the Assembly is convinced that such a move would not pose any health problems to the public.
He however advised the general public to stop loitering around cemeteries.
Meanwhile information gathered by GNA at the Osu Cemetery revealed that a burial plot cost between GH¢300.00 and GH¢1000.00 depending on its location.
A prime spot plot is sold between GH¢500.00 and GH¢1000.00, whilst non-prime plots goes for GH¢300.00.
The fees cover grave digging, block work and the covering of the grave after burial. Tiling or painting of the grave is however optional and attract additional cost.
The cost of constructing a tomb however ranges between GH¢2000.00 and GH¢3000.00 for smooth terrazzo whilst a marble tomb cost between GH¢4000.00 and GH¢5000.00.
Mr. Kwame Asare, a bereaved who had come to acquire a plot at the Osu cemetery, told the GNA that the construction of a tomb was necessary to protect and beautify the grave of the departed beloved one and added it is an honour.
The Sexton of the Osu Cemetery was however unavailable for comment.