Human cremation concern - Solomon Star News

 Human cremation concern

06 April 2020
One of the coffins being put on fire as part of the cremation.

Community members at Mount Austen in East Honiara are calling on the Honiara City Council (HCC) and health authorities to stop the human cremation which has been ocurring frequently.

This was after two bodies were burnt in front of the Japanese War Memorial at Mount Austen on Saturday.

The two bodies were of two Asians who were killed in separate incidents involving falling trees.

A Mount Austen community member who wants to remain anonymous said that the practice of human cremation in the area has raised great concern for the health of community members.

"We always see the burning of human bodies frequently these days," he said.

"The sight of human bodies being burnt across the road in front of our homes is just horrific.

"Apart from the sight of burnt human remains exposed in the open air, the stench from the bodies linger for up to 2 days as the remains are left there and collected a day or two after.

"Also the toxic fume from the fuel used in the combustion is unbearable to us and toxic to our children.

"For the safety and health of our community, we are calling on the HCC and other responsible authorities to consider our request to put a stop to this practice or find another location," the concern members said.

An HCC worker who was at the scene said that it is their job to carry out the process as it is the only area in Honiara where they could conduct such an event.

"It is in the Asian culture to burn the body of the dead and we are simply carrying out our task, the HCC worker said.

"I feel for our people here at the Mt Austen area but there is nothing we can do."

Human cremation usually occurs at the Japanese War Memorial area at Mt Austen.

In the past the area was isolated but with the growing population, homes are now built around the area.