The Accra Metropolitan Assembly is urging residents in the Metropolis to consider cremating bodies of their deceased relatives since the cemeteries in the capital are almost occupied.
The Assembly says it is making frantic efforts to acquire a land to develop another cemetery.
The Director of Public Health Department at the AMA, Dr. Simpson Anim Boateng told Citi News a final agreement will soon be reached to secure a land for the purpose of starting the new cemetery.
He says until that happens, cremation at the existing cemeteries is the best alternative.
Dr. Boateng is however worried about the method of cremation in Ghana, raising issues about health risks to residents.
According to him, the burning of bodies openly on a bunch of firewood causes a lot of discomfort hence the fear by people not to get involved.
He said unlike certain advanced countries where the practice is common, uniquely designed ovens are used to cremate bodies.
He told Citi News the AMA is in talks with some investors who intend to set up a modern crematorium in the city.
The Osu and the Awudome cemeteries have served as burial grounds for residents of Accra for more than 10 decades.
The situation has been compounded by the fact that the Mile 11 Cemetery at new Bortianor, which was used for only mass burials by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), has been sold to land developers, some of whom are already putting up residential structures.
The virtual lack of space for the dead at the Awudome and the Osu cemeteries in particular has compelled sextons there to carry out what they term ‘story buildings’ burials, by which dead bodies are buried on top of others.
About 95 per cent of the burial space at Awudome, 90 per cent at Osu and 70 per cent at La have been exhausted, according to Dr Simpson Anim-Boateng, the Director of the Public Health Department of the AMA.
Community cemeteries at Achimota, East Legon, among others, which could have given the AMA some relief and convenience while scouting for an alternative burial place, have all been encroached on.
Due to the congestion at the cemeteries, the Department was compelled to increase burial fees at Osu from GH¢150 to GH¢500, representing nearly a 300 per cent increase, as a measure to deter people from burying their dead there.