Aside from the pain relatives have to endure from losing a loved one, they are forced to set aside their grief to gather resources to give their relative a befitting burial.
In the last year, JoyNews has gathered that the cost of conducting funerals has doubled, causing a financial strain on the purse of bereaved families.
Individuals who have recently had to lay their loved ones to rest say it has been tough, as each time they have to move from one place to another in search of money to bury and pay their final respects.
Becky Bosomtwe, narrating her ordeal, said, “It is now expensive to die because recently, my father died. I think we buried him, and looking at the expenses we have made- it is so much.”
She explained that her family had to raise money to cover the cost of undertaker fees, hearse fees, mortuary fees and many more.
With the mortuary, she added that it was very expensive and the longer a relative stayed the higher the cost.
“Mortuary fees are so expensive we paid a lot, a lot that I can’t put the figure here though but some of the mortuary fees, I think the government should do something about it,” she pleaded.
Awudome Cemetery is one of the cheapest cemeteries in Accra. However, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly recently increased the burial fees from GH₵600 to GH₵1000.
Director of Accra Public Health Department, Florence Kuuyi, clarified the new fee was moderate, considering the substantial costs involved in preparing the place for a burial.
According to her, the money is used to cover the costs of labour, cement, water and other things.
“The GH₵1000 we pay it goes with the space. Not just the space, there is digging. We don’t just bury in the earth grade like that; when you are done, you put the blockwork inside the grave. So all these things have a cost,” she justified.
Meanwhile, a gravedigger at the Osu cemetery, Bernard Quarshie said he noticed that the current economic crunch has made it difficult for families to organise funerals.
“Burial dier[sic], this government spoil the burial all. There was a time when people didn’t spend as much money on burial like they do now. Now secuf [sic] the government, everything is a hardship. So if God willing and nobody can help you conduct the burial considering the state of the economy, it will be very hard,” he said.