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  • The Local Government and Community Development Ministry is looking to make changes to how burials are done at the May Pen Cemetery in Kingston.
  • Mr. McKenzie said a special committee, which is spearheading the development plans for the proposed renovation, is exploring how best future burials can be done in a more orderly manner.
  • Mr. McKenzie advised that the support of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) as well as Government stakeholders is being sought to undertake work at the cemetery.

The Local Government and Community Development Ministry is looking to make changes to how burials are done at the May Pen Cemetery in Kingston.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, said the objective is to better utilise the remaining space at the approximately 200-acre property, which is owned and operated by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC).

The Minister was speaking with journalists during a recent tour of the cemetery, which is slated to be renovated.

Noting that approximately 130 acres of the cemetery has been utilised so far, Mr. McKenzie contended that there was enough land to facilitate additional burials “over a significant period of time.”

“This is a vast area, so space is not a factor. What more poses the problem is burials that have taken place in an ad hoc way; so moving around becomes difficult,” he informed, pointing out that some burials “have (also) taken place in some of the (access) roads.”

Mr. McKenzie said a special committee, which is spearheading the development plans for the proposed renovation, is exploring how best future burials can be done in a more orderly manner.

He advised that an option being contemplated is restricting the erection of elaborate head and tombstones and mausoleums and resorting to straight burials.

This, he explained, would entail double plots, which usually comprise vaults that can accommodate two caskets either positioned side by side or one on top of the other, with average size headstones, as obtains in some privately operated cemeteries.

“We believe that if we do that in sections of the May Pen Cemetery not yet used, it would allow for a little bit more space for more burials,” Mr. McKenzie said, noting that “persons would welcome it.”

Mr. McKenzie advised that the support of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) as well as Government stakeholders is being sought to undertake work at the cemetery.

UNOPS is providing project management support for the construction of the access road at the Riverton City disposal site in Kingston, currently underway.