LUSAKA residents should change their mindset and start considering other means of disposing the bodies of the dead such as cremation because Lusaka has run out of land for new graves, Lusaka mayor Wilson Kalumba has said.
Speaking during the first quarter plan presentation for Lusaka City on Thursday, Mr Kalumba said while the challenge of looking for land for the new gravesite was a government responsibility, the city currently had no land to rest the dead.
Mr Kalumba said cremation was being practiced in most parts of Europe where families were having their relatives cremated adding that there was nothing wrong with the practice culture being introduced in Lusaka.
He wondered why people insisted on burring their relatives when the graves were not even maintained.
“The state of the graves in Lusaka is regrettable. People do not maintain their relatives’ graves and the grave yards are not even presentable. In fact, some people cannot even locate where they buried their relative hence the introduction of cremation will also improve the outlook of the city,” Mr Kalumba said.
He announced that should government find land to allocate for the burring of the dead, it would be in another district and that cremation would be a cost of the family.
“Currently there is no land in Lusaka hence if we have to have another gravesite, it will be in another district and families will spend a lot of money on transport bearing in mind the crowds Zambian funerals pull to the grave. Funerals will not be manageable by most families, “Mr Kalumba said
He said the graveyard in another district would also affect productivity as people would need a whole day away from work in order for them to attend a funeral.
He suggested that people should start including how they would want their bodies disposed in their last will and testament claiming that cremation would not be such a bad idea.
Mr Kalumba said it was evident that Lusaka had run out of burial space and that graves were now being squeezed in attempts to find space to bury the dead.