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Duport Road, JCN Howard cemeteries closed to the public 

By: Emmanuel wise Jipoh 

The Duport Road Cemetery and the JCN Howard Cemetery in Voker Mission Community, respectively in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, have been shut down to the public after authorities discovered deplorable conditions and insufficient space for any new burial.

Authorities of the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) outside Monrovia shut down the cemetery to the public barely a week after residents complained of deplorable state and limited space, posing serious health hazards to dwellers of the Voker Mission Community.

Residents in early August suffered serious air pollution and later noticed a strange vehicle with License Plate B11276 and unknown men offloading several bags of dead bodies at the graveyard.

They immediately alerted the media to go on the scene to establish what was going on leading to pollution of the community.

JCN Howard Cemetery, Voker Mission Paynesville

Investigation caught morticians of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital (JFK) Liberia’s largest referral hospital were the ones offloading the bags of dead bodies, something that caused serious health hazards for residents.

Chief Medical Officer at JFK Dr. Jerry Brown told investigators that JFK was responsible for the stink in the air that was posing health hazards.

Dr. Brown told journalists that all pieces of evidence showed the burial was done by the hospital and apologized to residents.

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He noted that the team charged with the responsibility to ensure bodies and amputated body parts are properly buried did not follow authorized procedures.

However, he said those culpable for the act will face administrative action in accordance with law.

Residents of the community had earlier blamed the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) for trespasses and improper burials at the grave site. They blamed the PCC for failure to close down the cemetery that has been filled to capacity with deplorable conditions, including broken tombs.

In response to pressure from community residents, the PCC has swiftly moved to shut down both cemeteries to halt further health hazards.

In a release issued Wednesday, August 10, 2022, the PCC said it was notified about the prevailing situation at the JCN Howard Cemetery and was left with no alternative but to shut the facility down to avoid any new burial.

“The Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) notifies the public that the JCN Howard Cemeteries Voker Mission and Duport Road are closed to new burial due to lack of space at these cemeteries”, the release reads.

Communication Officer, Jeremiah Diggen, told the NEW DAWN that the cemeteries are hereby closed to new burials exempt for those who have family plot(s) with proven space.

Mr. Diggen stressed that absolutely, there will be no new burial at both the Duport Road and JCN Howard cemeteries, warning that anyone caught will be penalized.

Meanwhile, the PCC has further warned the public not to do business with anyone purporting to be caretaker of these cemeteries or employees of the City Corporation without proper identification. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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