Monday, October 3

Banjul mortuary lacks adequate coffins

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A source familiar with the mortuary said the morgue has been congested over the past days due to the surge in mortality in the country and added that enough coffins are also lacking to either transport deceased to the Banjul Cemetery or other parts of the country. 

“Many people have to scramble for coffins to transport their dead either to the Banjul Cemetery or their homes owing to the lack of sufficient coffins at the mortuary,” the source said.

The Point has also learnt that several people were sitting around the premises of the mortuary and waiting for others to return coffins so that they could transport their dead persons to their various destinations.

Contacted for comment, Alhagie Bai Sainey Secka, who works at the mortuary, confirmed the inadequacy of coffins at the mortuary, saying most of the coffins in the mortuary are broken.

“Currently there are only four good coffins at the mortuary and I have taken others to a carpenter for maintenance,” he said.

Mr. Secka noted that the insufficiency of coffins with rising death rate has obviously affected the Muslim community of Banjul and the country as a whole.  “Sometimes, we would use a coffin to take a deceased to the cemetery, while others wait at the mortuary for the same coffin to take their deceased,” he said.

Secka said Banjul city has never encountered such a problem.

Some years ago, the Muslims elders of Banjul, Gambia Ports Authority and Africell provided the Banjul mortuary with coffins but now most of those coffins are broken and others too old.

However, on behalf of the Banjul Muslims Committee’s chairperson, Mr. Secka has called on all and sundry to come to their aid by either providing more coffins to them or help to repair the broken ones to mitigate the challenges at the mortuary.