AS COVID related deaths are expected to increase, Opposition Leader Hon Matthew Wale has urged the government to urgently address the issue on the alternative burial site.
In a statement on Tuesday, Hon Wale said it had been two weeks since the government made an assurance that they have identified a location close to Betikama, yet there is still no outcome to date.
This was after the Prime Minister announced in one of his nationwide addresses that the government has identified Barana as the new burial site only to be halted by the Guadalcanal provincial government.
As a result, the Secretary to Prime Minister Dr Jimmie Rodgers in a talkback show on 13th Feb 2022, said another site had been identified close to Betikama.
The SPM confirmed that the government had agreed to sign an MOU to kick-off preparations for the new burial site.
In response, the Opposition Leader has called on the government to inform the public on the MOU and the progress on the work on the new burial site.
“This is an urgent matter that needs to be addressed by the government immediately. The current death rates are high and with the limited restrictions to repatriate loved ones for burial in their villages, the government has a duty of care to provide an alternative burial site for its people,” he said.
Hon Wale adds in the current economic situation, not many families can afford to send their dead to their home provinces.
Therefore, he said the need for a long-term solution for a national cemetery that can meet both the immediate and long term is urgent.
The Opposition Leader said overcrowding at the cemetery at Kola’ridge is an issue that had been on the table for many years.
“This is an important matter that should have been resolved as part of the government’s preparedness plans. We now know there is no such plan. So why is the government dragging its feet on this urgent matter?” he said.
The Opposition Leader said the kolaridge cemetery is seriously now overcrowded and the government must treat this matter with urgency and do justice to families that have lost their loved ones.
Hon Wale said the current situation warrants an urgent attention by the national government.