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27.06.2004 General News

Chiefs urged to control spending on funerals

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Kumasi, June 27, GNA - An appeal has been made to traditional authorities, to institute more stringent measures to help control the huge spending on funeral celebrations in their areas of jurisdiction. Odeneho Kwaku Appiah, immediate past President of the Youth in Action, a network of youth groups, said this has become necessary in view of the colossal sums of monies now being spent on funeral celebrations in recent times.

Odeneho Appiah made the appeal at a meeting of the Kwadaso Christian Youth Fellowship held in Kumasi on Saturday. He noted that unlike previous years, it is now a fashion for celebrants of funerals to inject huge sums of monies into the procurement of expensive cloths, preparation of a variety of dishes and provision of alcoholic drinks.

He said the measure if ever worked out, should also forbid the provision of alcoholic drinks to mourners at the funeral grounds and also the use of brass band to provide music.

He observed that the practice of providing expensive meals of various kinds, alcoholic beverages and dancing to brass band music, virtually turns funerals, which are expected to be mournful occasions into merry-making events.

"The African culture has a unique place for funerals since they are perceived as solemn and mournful events, and these attributes should not be allowed to be undermined in the name of modernisation", he added. Odeneho Appiah said the search for control and ensuring that funerals are moderately conducted should not be left unto only the traditional authorities, but that churches should also get actively involved since they equally have a unique role to play.

He said churches should devise more innovative means by which they could educate their members on the need to cut down spending on funerals and channelling the monies into properly catering for the needy in society.

Pastor Richard Mensah, Pastor in-charge of the Welfare of the Kwadaso Christian Youth Fellowship, called on churches to incorporate the construction of libraries and play grounds in all their development agenda.

Such facilities, he explained, could engage children during their leisure time and protect them from engaging in social vices.

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