Margibi County Superintendent, John Zubah Buway, has ordered the closure of Kakata’s only public cemetery, located in the Mandingo Quarter, due to what his office called “the lack of land space to continue burying the dead.”
Superintendent Buway told Liberia News Agency (LINA) Margibi correspondent that he ordered the cemetery closed because of looming health hazards that the cemetery poses to residents.
He said due to the lack of burial space, residents have resulted to burying the dead on top of other graves, a situation which he observed was creating serious problems.
Furthermore, Supt. Buway said, suspected criminals who have escaped arrest for crimes they allegedly committed in other places are being harbored in the cemetery from where they terrorize peaceful residents, especially under the cover of darkness.
“The suspected criminals not only use the cemetery as a hideout camp, they use the area as their base from where they often terrorize peaceful citizens,” said Buway.
He expressed disappointment with the situation, but blamed residents who he said have encroached on the 20 acre land, resulting in the lack of burial spaces.
Buway also blamed previous administrations for doing nothing to protect the cemetery land from encroachers thus causing serious embarrassment for his administration.
With regard to new plots to bury the dead in Kakata, Supt. Buway said he would allocate at least 15 acres of land at three different locations in the city to ease the burden on the Madingo Quarter cemetery.
Buway said the Margibi County authority is concluding discussions on the allocation of 15 acres a piece to be located on the Bong Mines Road, 26 Gate Road and the Weala- Kakata highway, to ease the burden of burial spaces.
Residents around the cemetery have welcomed the superintendent’s decision to shut down the burial site, but called on his office to put in place measures to ensure a routine clean up of the cemetery, as well as the posting of security guards to deter residents from burying their dead during night hours.