Virtual Kollage: Why funerals are expensive in Ghana

Posted by / Tuesday, 25 October 2016 / No comments

Why funerals are expensive in Ghana



WHY FUNERAL EXPENSES ARE HIGH IN GHANA
Long duration of funerals
Many days are used in organizing funerals and a lot of money is spent on sympathizers and relatives in the provision of accommodation, food and drinks. Sometimes, the corpse is kept in the morgue for many months. All these makes the funeral expenses high.

High cost of preparation
People spend huge sums of money in preparation towards the funeral. The corpse is preserved in the mortuary for a number of days, sometimes weeks and months. The cost of food and drinks bought is very high and above all the price of coffin bought is very expensive. This creates the situation where huge sums of money are spent on the funeral.

Transporting dead bodies over a long journey
Some family members do not want their dead relatives to be buried anywhere other than their hometown. This compels people to transport their dead relatives from very far, even from Europe and America back home. This adds a lot of cost to the funeral budget.

Publicity
It is a common practice to create publicity about the death of a relative. This publicity may take the form of radio and television announcements. These are expensive. Some family members mount giant billboards at vantage points to inform people about the death of their relatives. This can also cost the funeral budget to go high.

Wake-keeping
Another practice, which leads to high funeral expenditure, is wake keeping or vigil. During wake keeping, sound systems are hired, coffee drink prepared and served. There is the distribution of items such as chewing gum, ginger toffees to keep people wake during the vigil. All these add to the high cost of funeral. 

HOW TO REDUCE HIGH FUNERAL EXPENDITURE
Doing away with wake-keeping
Apart from the fact that activities taking place during wake keeping increases the expenditure of funeral, it also affects the health of those involved. Sleep deprivation has been linked to health problems. One way of reducing funeral expenses is to abolish vigils so that the attendant cost can be cut off.

Preservation of corpse
Another way of reducing the cost of funerals is to period the corpse is kept in the morgue. The longer it is kept at the morgue, the more relatives have to pay for its preservation. When this is done, it will cut down the funeral expenses.

Reduce travel time for corpse
Conveying the corpse over a long distance for funeral and burial ceremonies must be eliminated since it comes with its own separate cost. People should avoid it. As much as possible, the corpse should be buried where the death occurred to help eliminate the high cost of transportation.
           
Avoid the use of expensive coffins
The purchase of expensive coffins increases the expenditure of the funeral. It is recommended that this is avoided. This is even more compelling when thieves may target the casket or coffin and still it just after burial. One of the reasons people loot graves is to still expensive coffins.

Burial and funeral ceremonies
People should plan in order to hold burial and final funeral rites on the same day to avoid extra cost. Holding such ceremonies on separate days incurs additional costs to family.

Avoid buying a particular funeral dress
Some bereaved families prescribe a dress code for the funeral, especially, for family members. This dress code is expected to be used by family members and friends. This must be avoided especially when it is compulsory. The financial burden it puts on people can be avoided.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. Highlight six reasons why the funeral budget is so high in Ghana.

2. In which six ways can the high funeral expenses be brought down?  

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