Monday, 03 December 2007
By Adel Al-Malki
The Municipality is involving the private sector in developing burial grounds as part of an extensive program to address complaints that cemeteries in the city are mostly neglected, inadequate, poorly staffed and lacking even basic services. As a first step, contracts have been signed to develop eight out of the 15 graveyards in the city," said Khaled Aqeel, Undersecretary for Services at the Mayoralty. All cemeteries will be fenced, their rooms for washing and halls for condolences will be renovated, staff trained and services upgraded through an e-link with the Ministry of Health so as to standardize death reports, he said.
The municipality has also begun distributing a booklet that has the steps of burial, names and telephone numbers of graveyards and hospitals linked to them, and also telephone numbers of specialists to facilitate the process of burial.
Additionally, 10 vehicles have been allotted to transport the dead. Aqeel refuted citizens' complaints that Jeddah has a dire shortage of burial space. Jeddah's graveyards can take 23,000 bodies annually though the need is only 8,000 .