samedi 19 novembre 2011

Belgium / DR Congo: The dead who starved to Belgium.


The economic crisis in Europe makes every sector. The shortage of deaths in Belgium hit hard the funeral industry. Between 2010 and 2011, there was a difference of 2,000 deaths in Belgium, which worries the funeral industry, reported on 18.11.2011 the newspaper Sud Presse and Het Laatste Nieuws.
        
"If this trend continues over the next three years, I fear that many colleagues have to close shop," said the undertaker John Dexters in Laatste Nieuws.
        
From January to September, there were 74,326 deaths. Over the same period of 2010, there were still 76,291. It is generally mild to time this year that we owe this downward trend in deaths in Belgium. We must also take into account the lengthening of life, due to advances in medicine.
        
In addition, many people who should have 85 years died this year at the age of 20 years on the battlefields during World War II. This generation therefore lacks the appeal of death in 2011.
Belgium has 650 funeral homes. Asked by Sud Presse, one of them says it's "good time" to die. "We have more time to receive mourners (...) The ceremony time is lengthened if requested." , Written Belga News Agency.

Meanwhile in Kinshasa in the former Belgian Congo.

         The funeral homes have increased in the Congolese capital. In crisis, too, not for lack of the dead, but since the families of these funds lack the money to pay for coffins. In addition to missing more and more space in cemeteries of Kinshasa.

        
Kinshasa (10, 076, 091 inhabitants) over an area of ​​9,965 km2 is considered a ghost town because the wakes and funerals have become the engine of social and political life. The Congolese capital has been described by the playwright as a Nzey Van Musala town cemetery while the country "Rdécès" is called "thanatocrats."
         Here people are more dead than alive, cemeteries are overcrowded and anonymous corpses are left to the entrance of morgues.
        
Decency forbids the publication of figures which are otherwise poorly understood even by health authorities. All statistics are therefore too rough to be reliable.

The funeral in Kinshasa cause more pain than death itself.

        
Looking to the sky like an imploring divine aid, a mother cries her despair: "Sophie, my daughter, we did not have enough to make you care! How are we going to pay the morgue, organize and bury your grief in a decent way? "

         The pain of the bereaved woman is immense. Because she knows buries a dead today in Kinshasa is not an easy task. The first expenses start here, removal of remains.

        
At the morgue, it must meet a series of free: FC 2000 ($ 3.8) per day of preservation of the body in the refrigerator, $ 10 for the death certificate, $ 10 for the agents, both for the body wash ... The body must then be embalmed and dressed chic. A police sergeant said they spent $ 150 for the purchase of black trousers, a white shirt with tie, socks, gloves 
 ...
        
The hard part is to do. You have to buy a casket, rent a hearse, a chapel, preferably with red carpet, catafalque, tents, chairs, buy bouquets of flowers, hire a band when it is not deemed an orchestra ...          "We provide a chapel four stakes, the decoration that goes with the catafalque, and two tents, two hundred chairs and a camera to the report at $ 800”, advance Ekila Jean, owner of a funeral.
        
According to an hosipital agent, at the morgue of General Hospital in Kinshasa, every month, one to two bodies of indigents whose relatives can not afford the panoply of funeral expenses and are abandoned.         
         The social service of the City Hall with the help of the Red Cross then charges to bring them into the ground.
         In
Democratic Republic of Congo, the average family income barely exceeds $ 100 per month.
        
"The day after the funeral is just as difficult to live. Enough already ruined, families hit by the loss of one of their must observe a period of 40 days of mourning. Relatives are still there for a few days to console. Expenses continue, until the mourning will be permanently removed ... " said the agency Syfia.

Belgium is able to assist funeral homes to move to Kinshasa.

         This type of proposal may seem a priori iconoclast. But to see loan and after breaking the taboo surrounding the subject in both countries, that would suit both the business sector in Belgium to be unemployed than Kinois face the challenge of decent burial relatives.
        
"The funeral service, which was formerly the preserve of the City of Kinshasa, is currently managed, somehow, by private through the 24 municipalities of the capital. (...) The population of Kinshasa is left to the private thank you, who see their interests by selling expensive coffins. (..) For a lucrative business for carpenters manufacturers. " Writte Alfred Lukambil in Mediacongo.net.
        
The manufacture of coffins pays more than the furniture. The coffins sell out quickly given the high number of deaths in the Congolese capital.
        
The town hall must reorganize his funeral service but has it the means to meet these needs which become increasingly important with the population boom in Kinshasa?

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