Cremation Dilemma: Will Kenyans BurN Or BurY The Dead!?

Cremation pic
Cremation Vs burial

After the governor of Nairobi, Dr. Evans Kidero, hiked the price of securing yourself a space among the dead in the public cemetery, we are left with no choice but to stay alive a bit longer or opt for other ways to gerrara outta here (Get Out Of Here).

Cremation is one of the best alternatives that has been proposed for years in kenya. In fact, as seen in the Nairobi county financial bill of 2015/16 that was released early this month (September), the rates for burying your beloved one has hiked by ksh 3500 -7000 depending on age, while that of cremation has dropped by ksh 4000 as seen in the list below:

Burial Fees

  • Infant: from 12000 to 15500 = ksh 3500 more
  • Child: from 15000 to 22000 = ksh 7000 more
  • Adults: from 25000 to 30500 = ksh 5500 more

Cremation Fee

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  • Adults: from 13000 to 9000 = ksh 4000 less
  • Children: ksh 6000
  • Infant: ksh 4000
  • Ashes scattering: ksh 1,000

Back to the cremation issue. I thought it would be nice to go a bit deeper into it since you are going be hearing more of it in our generation and those to come. By Definition,

Cremation is the combustion, vaporization and oxidation of dead bodies to basic chemical compounds, such as gases, ashes and mineral fragments retaining the appearance of dry bone. Cremation may serve as a funeral or post-funeral rite that is an alternative to the interment of an intact dead body in a coffin or casket. Cremated remains, which do not constitute a health risk, may be buried or interred in memorial sites or cemeteries, or they may be retained by relatives and dispersed in various ways. Cremation is not an alternative to a funeral, but rather an alternative to burial or other forms of disposal ~ From Wikipedia.

Cremation, just like everything else on planet Earth, has its pros and cons depending on your society and personal reasons. Our indian neighbors have been cremating for over 2900 years. Hey! we almost received dowry from them the other day. Anyway, in case you are wondering why one would opt for such a “Non-cultural” way of doing things, here is why:

Cremation Pros

1. Cheaper

Cremation is cost-efficient both in terms of the price to cremate the body and the expenses that come with the funeral arrangement, body transportation, the coffin and wages to grave diggers.

2. Time Saving

With burial, it takes at least a day to get all things done assuming cash is not an issue on your part. Cremation however takes it to just a couple of hours. Save the time spent looking for a “fitting” coffin and tuxedo.

3. Space Efficient

Since the body is burnt by temperature over 900°C, all that remains is ashes of your bones. This easily fits into a 1 litre jar used by milk vendors. In other words, cremation takes less that 1% of the space rendered useless by the coffin.

4. Reduce Theft

Hahaha! Cremation eventually results to less number of theft. In the past, we have heard case of thieves excavating the coffin to rob the dead of their wealth and even the coffin. Cremation leaves nothing to chance; you totally leave the way you came into planet earth which makes you less vulnerable to wealth diggers.

5. Environmental Friendly

Since no wooden coffins are used during cremation, timber usage is drastically reduced. With adoption of electrical cremators and ones which use gas, then there will be zero trees having to die along with you.

6. The Maggots

Am I the only one who has phobia for those strange-looking fellas eating up decaying bodies? Maybe this is a personal issue, but worth making me settle for cremation. Pals say that it makes no difference since I won’t feel them by then. But hey! Why give them the pleasure to eat me up! I Prefer being consumed by fire rather than maggots.

7. Cremated remains Make Diamond

Wow! whether you are a billionaire or not, you always have that last chance to be the diamond you so much wished to posses when you were still alive. Yah! The cremated remains are said to make synthetic diamond. But please don’t terminate your life so that you can be diamond. 🙂

Cremation Cons

Unfortunately, there are some negative things surrounding this wonderful method:

1. Cultural Limitations

Even though cremation is a good alternative to burial, not all cultures embrace it. Some cultures, even here in Kenya, consider cremation as a foreign influence that deserves no place in their culture. This in turn brings about a drift between those who support and shun cremation.

2. Air Pollution

The fumes from the body being cremated most of the time end up in the clouds. I’ve always heard of “acidic rain”. Oh no! I don’t think am ready for “humanic rain”

3. Roasted Meat phobia

Apart from the fumes that find their way into the sky, think of that moment when the wind blows the fumes your way. Literary, that’s human meat consumption. Your appetite for red meat will definitely lower.

4. Lost Purity

Upon cremation, the ashes are likely to mix with the little ones from the previous body. Then, the next person will get a bit of your ashes on the tray too. This is not the best of things especially for those who value purity to the fullest.



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