Margibi electoral district #1 Lawmaker, Tibelrosa Summoh Tarponweh says, the recent open cremation of a Chinese national within the Needowein Community along the Robert International Airport Highway in awful and unsafe.
Representative Tarponweh, through a release issued said, the cremation was performed by the Green Pasture Funeral Home.
The situationhe said has created fear in those residing within the vicinity where the cremation was done, thereby causing some of them to evacuate their homes.
“This life-threatening act, performed by the Green Pastry Funeral Home, has provoked and outraged residents, thereby resulting to some evacuating their homes for fear of being affected by air pollution. This is environmentally horrific “, the release is quoted as saying.
Days following the cremation, the owner of the Green Pasture Funeral Home, Dr. Henry Marcus Speare spoked with a local radio station in Margibi County, during when he claimed responsibility for the situation.
Dr. Speare argued that his action is legal and was authorized by the Ministry of Health through a permit he received from the National Public Health Institute of Liberia—a claimed the Ministry of Health has refuted.
“It is no crime to cremate body in Liberia. Our society must grow. It is a good thing to do all of these things in our society. The law requires that you build an oven and the cremation must be performed half a mile from the dwelling of the people.
We recognize the sacrifices and the contributions of the Indians and the Chinese in our country. But the way they have selected of putting away the dead has become a problem; it shouldn’t be. To perform the cremation, we received permit from the Ministry of Health through the Department of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia”, Dr. Speare disclosed.
But in contrary view to Dr. Speare, the Needowein Community Coordinator, Mr. Nehemiah N. Nyenpan asserted that the cremation was openly performed on a land owned by a man known as Emmanuel Barclay.
He said it has frightened those them and called on the Ministry of Health for their intervention.
“Early Sunday morning, January 17, 2021, we saw a car belonging to the Green Pasture Funeral Home moving towards Emmanuel Barclay’s land. After a while, we saw huge smoke and realized it was a burning of the remains of someone. The cremation was done within the dwelling of others in our community. Most of us are in fear here. We don’t know what killed this person”, Mr. Nyenpan explained.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has communicated with the Management of the Green Pasture Funeral Home, citing them to appear before the investigative team at the Ministry.
Minister Wilhelmina S. Jallah said, it is important that investigation and clarification be made on the matter as soon as possible.
“I write to inform you that it has been brought to our attention that your establishment has been allegedly conducting unlawful cremation in Margibi County.
According to information gathered, you have been stating that the Ministry of Health has granted Green Pasture Funeral Home permission to conduct these cremations. It’s imperative that clarification be made on this matter”, Minister Jallah said via her communication to Dr. Speare.
The Green Pasture Funeral Home is located in Unification City, Lower Margibi County.