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Demand for graves surges in Gweru

by Staff reporter
02 Aug 2021 at 06:37hrs | Views
THERE has been a surge in demand for graves in the city of Gweru amid indications that from January to date, 65 people have been buried at council cemeteries compared to 45 the whole of last year.

The figures are high considering that there is a private cemetery which has also become popular with residents intending to bury their beloved ones.

The demand for burial space at Gweru City Council cemeteries is said to have increased since the onset of the Covid19 pandemic last year. Gweru City Council spokesperson Ms Vimbai Chingwaramusee said there is a surge in the demand for burial space.

"As council we have sold 65 graves so far in 2021 against 45 sold in 2020. Of these 30 are men and 35 are women," she said.

According to the statistics, Ms Chingwaramusee said Covid -19 related deaths account for the bulk of the burials.

"What it means is that during the entire year of 2020 we only used 45 graves but now in 2021 in just seven months we have used 65 graves. This means that deaths have increased this year compared to last year. And looking at Ministry of Health and Child Care statistics, Covid -19 related deaths are increasing hence we have to brace for more deaths," she said.

Ms Chingwaramusee said at the central cemetery a grave for a child costs Z$ 854, adult Z$1 708.

"In Mkoba and Senga a grave for a child costs Z$569 while that for an adult costs Z$ 1 139," she said.

The Mayor Councillor Josiah Makombe said recently that the three local authority-run cemeteries were overwhelmed.

"Covid19 has really raised the demand for graves. Gweru has three cemeteries in the city namely Senga cemetery; Central cemetery (Mutasa) and Mkoba cemetery. Our main challenge is that grave digging is being done manually. We meet challenges where the surfaces are rocky, for example, at Senga cemetery. We are still in the process of trying to automate grave digging if funds permit," he said.

Reporters witnessed three burials at Mtapa cemetery on Friday. The mourners at each grave were less than 30 people in adherence to Covid -19 regulations. Of the three burials, two were said to be Covid-19 related.

"We are at Mtapa to bury my father who succumbed to Covid-19. As you can see we are less than 30 mourners as we stick to the Covid-19 rules and regulations. We didn't even have body viewing just to be sure that mourners are safe. It is very painful to bury our loved one without even seeing him for the last time," said Mr Simon Ncube.

Zanu -PF Vice-President and Second Secretary, Kembo Mohadi bemoaned shocking Covid-19 statistics in the Midlands province where 305 people have died in the last three weeks.

Speaking after emerging from a closed-door meeting on Friday, Mohadi said he learnt with sadness the worrying Covid-19 statistics coming from Midlands province. He urged Midlanders and all Zimbabweans to continue observing health guidelines to mitigate against the spread of Covid-19.

Source - chronicle
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