The City of Bulawayo is encouraging its residents to take up the idea of cremation as a substitute to conventional burial in a bid to limit the fast reduction of burial space in the City.
The Acting Director of Health Services, Dr Edwin Sibanda highlighted that cremation was another acceptable method of disposing human remains apart from burying in line with the Bulawayo Cremations Regulations and Cremation Procedures
“Body cremation is the burning of the remains of a deceased person in a cremator either through mechanical means using diesel fuel or a manual cremator; that is using firewood,” he said.
He added that Cremation in Bulawayo was not a new activity but had been there from as far back as the 1950’s. Dr Sibanda noted that despite this, the uptake of Cremation was very low especially among the black community.
“The reasons that have been given is that it is culturally unacceptable. On average, the monthly rate of cremation stands at 12 and the majority being the Hindu members of our community who culturally and religiously cremate their deceased loved ones,” said Dr Sibanda.
Dr Sibanda highlighted that the cost of cremation like burial varies on the day of cremation and the citizen status of the deceased and the age of the deceased is also considered.
“For example, an adult resident of the city is charged $63.00 if cremation is conducted from Monday to Friday. Weekends and holidays is $72. Non residents of the city are charged at different percentages of citizen’s rates depending on the day of cremation but average is $95,” said Dr Sibanda
He highlighted that the prices were not too high when comparing to the cost of grave which was also dependent on the day of burial, citizen status and the age of the deceased.