A depressing end Editorial
Stabroek News
December 4, 2003

Related Links: Articles on Garbage City
Letters Menu Archival Menu

Attending a burial ceremony at Le Repentir, the main cemetery in George-town, is a very depressing experience. The roads are not well-kept, the graves are mostly in bad shape, unpainted, some broken, many almost completely covered in grass. It looks like a wasteland.

The grave-diggers do nothing to improve the situation. Their work is casual and slapdash, crude would be a kind word. At a recent funeral there was some argument as to who was responsible for what work and when payment would be made - the representative from the funeral parlour was nowhere in sight and there was a delay in completion of the job.

If someone was to judge the state of the civilisation of the citizens of Georgetown by the state of the graveyard they would draw some very unflattering conclusions. Indeed, it might seem that citizens had lost hope and self respect and were prepared to bury their loved ones in the most appalling conditions.

Can anything be done? Certainly, City Hall will not do it. Overwhelmed as it already is by problems ranging from garbage collection to maintenance of the city's assets there is no prospect of them getting their act together sufficiently to rehabilitate the cemetery, even if funds were available. But there is, surely, an obvious answer. Georgetown badly needs a large, new, modern crematorium. In developed countries people of most religions now find this the preferred way to dispose of their remains. It is quick, efficient and environmentally friendly.

This is a golden opportunity for an entrepreneur. The demand for the service would be enormous and family and friends would no longer have to endure the bleak experience of a burial at Le Repentir. Perhaps some of the funeral parlours might consider a joint venture.