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GeneralLiberia news

Voker Mission Cemetery in deplorable condition 

By: Emmanuel wise Jipoh 

If the dead could talk or make demands, they would have by now besieged Offices of Paynesville City Mayor, E. Pam Belcher Taylor, in protest over deplorable state of their eternal resting places.

However, they are helpless and those whose duties it is to ensure these cemeteries are in good condition appear indifferent. The abandonment is glaring at the JCN Howard Cemetery in Voker Mission in Paynesville City and elsewhere.

Apart from being overgrown by weeds, with several broken tombs, they are also homes for rodents and criminals. Visiting the cemetery on Monday, August 8, 2022, a worker at the cemetery, William Flomo told The New DAWN that some of the graves were in such a deplorable state, and there’s need to relocate.

A partial view of JCN Howard Cemetery

Mr. Flomo: “There are permanent and temporary graves. When a family pays for a temporary grave, it means there won’t be any mark to identify the person; nothing will be built on it, but when one pays for a permanent grave, it means the person will always come back to pay homage or pray on the grave.”

The head of the graveyard, Seh Kamara explains that the premises have become deplorable because of limited space and they cannot reject the dead, as families keep coming and crying for a spot to bury their loved ones.

“Some families will come crying to us that they don’t have money and we can’t ask them to return their dead. So, we ask them to pay the grave diggers to bury their deads and they can’t come back because they won’t be able to identify where they buried the deceased when they return. People buy space permanently as a means to identify a buried family member.” Kamara adds.

He says to obtain a graveyard or tomb, depends on the age of the deceased, which also cost between $10,000 Liberian dollars and above, but sometimes it is below that due to appeal from family members.

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When this paper tried contacting PCC authorities, they neither confirm nor deny the overcrowdedness of the cemetery, as the communication officer’s phone rang tirelessly. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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