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...Gov't Secures Burial Site
The Government of Liberia has secured 50 acres of land as the new burial site for all Ebola related deaths with Twenty-five acres ready for use.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the 25 acres of land situated behind the Disco Hill Community, was secured through the intervention of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in collaboration with the Council of Chiefs and Elders, a United States based non-governmental organization, Global Community, and the citizens of Disco Hill Community along the Robertsfield highway, Margibi County.
The release said the burial site, which will eventually become the new national cemetery, will enable relatives and loved ones identify graves of Ebola victims instead of the earlier format where Ebola victims were cremated.
Speaking to journalists following a tour of the site by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf recently, the Coordinator of the Incidence Management System, Mr. Tolbert Nyensuah said the land has been demarcated for Christian burials and Muslim burials while a place has been earmarked to erect a memorial monument for those victims of the Ebola virus who were cremated.
Nyenswah is quoted as saying that the graves of Ebola victims will be identified by tombstones while their relatives, friends, pastors and imams will be allowed to perform burials rites at the site during burial but void of touching.
He said relatives, loved ones and clerics can now work with the safe burial teams to ensure that Ebola victims have dignified burials.
“This will become a national cemetery so that people will not hide dead bodies because of cremation,” he stressed.
Continuing he said “right now as we are, we started cremation as a country when Ebola was very much intensified in August and September but there are a lot of people who are rejecting cremation of their bodies. So as people in the Ebola fight to have safe and dignified burials, we decided to identify the site which is now ready for both Christians and Muslim to have well dignified and safe burials where people can practice their rituals but not to touch dead bodies.”
Mr. Nyensuah said the site will also be used to bury non Ebola related bodies since it is the new national cemetery.
“Already, Government has paid an initial amount of US$25,000 to secure the land and has committed to make a final payment of US$25,000 once a Memorandum of Understanding has been reached between Government and the people of Disco Hill Community. They have requested for primary school, clinic, road, and safe drinking water for the community.” the release said.
Chief Zanzan Kawon, Chairman of the National Traditional Council of Liberia is said to have presented the check of US$25,000 on behalf of the Government of Liberia, while Mr. Kaizon received the check on behalf his community. President Sirleaf witnessed the presentation.