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Ghanaians Buying Their Burial Spaces   
 
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11-Feb-2015  
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Whilst some Ghanaians constantly shudder to contemplate about how their own death and burial will turn out, others are increasingly taking personal interest in how they exit the world.

As such more Ghanaians have now resorted to securing and paying for their burial space upfront to enable them to know the exact cemeteries and spots they would be buried before they die.

This came to light when The Speculator visited the Gethsemane Memorial Garden, a private cemetery at Shiashie in Accra.



The Assistant Manager, Robert Nana Acheampong, who confirmed the practice, said it was common among high-end patrons of the cemetery.

“Most of our clients often want the space for future use, meaning they secure that plot where they would be buried and pay for it in advance,” he said.

To meet the increasing demand, Nana Acheampong indicated, “We also have put in place a facility called the Pre-Need, which caters for all such demands.”

He explained that the Pre-Need had two options, the first of which demands the immediate use of the plot within 90 days of its purchase.

The second option, he said, entails the patron securing the land for as long as eventual user lives. “So, for example, you can buy the land today and wait until 20 years to use it,” he said.

Nana Achemapong said purchases under the Pre-Need were done strictly without considering the full cost that the instantaneous use of the land would incur.

“This is because assuming you are burying your deceased tomorrow, then you will have to pay the cost of the headstone and other expenses,” he said, emphasizing: “This is different from the Pre-Need where you only buy the land.”

Touching on how patrons get to arrange for their burial space, he explained: “Some people, mostly the elderly, will come here for the burial of a friend or relative and when they see how nice and orderly this place is, they come back the next time with their children, asking them to bury them here when they die.

”So that’s how it normally starts,” he said, indicating that even though management was yet to start any full-scale advertisement about the cemetery,” people send the good word out after coming here the first time.”

Declining to give figures, he said subscribers of the pre-Need would “soon equal, if not surpass,” the traditional patrons of the cemetery.

Nana Achemapiong, however, discounted hearsays that burial at the cemetery last for only a limited period, after which the deceased was exhumed to give space for another.

“That’s not true, my brother,” he told this reporter, continuing: “Look around and see the vast space we have here. This property used to be an old cemetery until we purchased it two years ago.

“Even with that, we have still preserved every tombstone we inherited, and that is the section over there,” he said, pointing to a section of the facility he called the old cemetery.

“So it not true we exhume the bodies. What happens is that, per the arrangement we have with our clients, the land is leased for use for 20 years, after which you pay a maintenance fee for another 20 years.

“The case of the Pre-Need is even 30 years renewable, “he said, indicating that: “People hold some special, emotional attachments to their deceased, so giving them a befitting final resting place remains their priority. “That is just service we have been offering Accra in the last two years,” he said, announcing that plans are far advanced for the management to extend similar services to other regions of the country.

He said pending the official consecration and inauguration of the cemetery in March, this year, “We will continue to be guided by the words of British Prime Minister, William Gladstone.”

He once said: “Show me the manner in which a nation or community cares for its dead, and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land, and their loyalty to high ideals.

The situation was not different from other public cemeteries in Accra.


 
 
Source: The Spectator
 
 

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