The old crematorium repairs have partially been completed and it should be noted that the crematorium is being operated manually in order to clear the cremation backlog that had accumulated since January this year, said City of Windhoek Spokesperson, Joshua Amukugo.
This was aired out by the City of Windhoek earlier this week at a press briefing to inform and update the public on the progress made with the crematorium repairs and operations.
“Under normal circumstances, we cremate up to eight bodies a day, but we are currently cremating up to four bodies daily to prevent the furnace from overheating, while waiting for the replacement of the old furnace to be finalised,” he explained. He added that the construction work for the new building that will accommodate the new furnace is progressing well and installation is expected to be concluded by April 2016.
Mathilda Moncho, Funeral and Cremation Section Head for the City assured the public that they are working around the clock to get rid of the backlog. “We are even work during the weekend and so far since 22 August we have cremated 35 bodies,” Moncho said.
The Economist also posed the question to the City on the speculations about the old crematorium drawing to much power, which resulted in a substation blowing up and Lydia Amutenya, Public Relations Officer for the City explained that this is not true because the old crematorium has not been refitted yet.
“It should be noted that as much as we urgently need the facility to be operational, a due diligent work must be done to ensure proper functionality once it is operational,” explained Amutenya.
She said that since the crematorium broke, some members of the public were making use of other crematorium facilities in the neighbouring countries and the closest one is in Upington, South Africa. “We therefore request for the public to be patient in this regard until the work is finalised,” she concluded.
Meanwhile, the new crematorium is under construction and will be adjacent to the old one which is situated at the Gammams Cemetery. Currently most of the delays in repairs at the old crematorium can be attributed to the fact that parts required can only be sourced from outside of Namibia.