1 Oct 2013

Papua New Guinea capital short of cemetery space

4:18 pm on 1 October 2013

The acting chief executive of Papua New Guinea's national capital district says Port Moresby is running out of cemetery space.

The comment comes as the authorities prepare for another mass burial of bodies unclaimed by relatives from the country's main hospital.

Leslie Alu says sometimes people cannot afford to claim their relatives and give them a proper burial but other times the dead are victims of HIV or AIDS and their relatives fear the corpses.

Mr Alu says the bodies are buried in coffins but stacked in graves that are deeper than usual.

"The cemtery is almost full and we're looking for space. You know, we thought of cremation but there's not the culture here, we think people may be offended by that process. So we're looking at alternative space to have a new cemetery."

Leslie Alu says that is pretty difficult because most available land is earmarked for development.