LUCEA, Hanover — The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development will be assisting the Hanover Municipal Corporation with maintenance of Lucea Cemetery, which is currently in a horrific condition.
The burial site, which spans more than 20 acres, is overgrown and strewn with litter in many areas.
“We will be paying some attention in assisting them in having the cemetery cleaned,” Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie promised following a tour of sections of Hanover Western on Thursday.
There are approximately 100 public graveyards across the island and the minister said a number of them are in an undesireable state. In an effort to facilitate greater input from central government, the local government ministry is currently working on a mapping programme for cemeteries across the island.
“When the mapping is completed you have to put the costing in it, [as well as a] portion for maintenance, because it makes no sense that we bush it today and tomorrow it grows up. So, we are putting in a component of maintenance in it — and that is why we have chosen about four [parishes] to use as a pilot,” stated McKenzie.
He first announced the pilot programme during his budget presentation in Parliamant earlier this year. While he said three of the four have been completed, the minister opted not to name any of the parishes in which they are located until they are all completed. He said the aim is to remove unused cemeteries from the system and focus on those that are in use.
“What we have not had in our cemeteries for decades is proper maintenance. Sometimes it is really difficult to maintain these facilitiesbut it is something that we are working on in this programme,” stated McKenzie.
He noted that while, to the best of his knowledge, Hanover is not included in the pilot programme, there is a possibility that it could be added after there is a better idea of how much it would cost.