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Abuja cemeteries pose no threats to people — FCT

The Federal Capital Development Authority has said the cemeteries located in different districts in Abuja, the nation’s capital, pose no threats to residents.
The FCDA explained that except in cases of haemorrhagic fevers such as Lassa Fever, Ebola and cholera, dead bodies are generally not infectious.
Some Lokogoma Estate residents had protested against the siting of a cemetery for COVID-19 victims at Kaura District in Phase II of the Federal Capital City, saying it constituted a long-term health danger to persons residing in the area.
They, therefore, asked the FCT Administration to relocate the cemetery to a less inhabited area.
But the Media Assistant to the FCDA Executive Secretary, Richard Nduul, in a statement in Abuja on Thursday described the residents’ claims as baseless, noting that the FCDA remained the appropriate authority to interpret and implement its provisions on the various aspects of the city’s development.
It stated that the Abuja master plan was designed to achieve coordinated balance and systematic development of all land uses, adding that the ‘neighbourhood concept’ adopted in the formulation and design of the plan was the basic unit where all necessary facilities and services such as shopping centres, schools, religious centres, police posts, fire service, including a cemetery, were to be provided.
The statement said, “The master plan equally prescribes for a sector cemetery to cater for three to four districts at a higher level, and all cemeteries are planned to be buffered from all adjacent land uses, except for green areas and open spaces, by a landscaped area along the perimeter of the cemetery to help mitigate the effects of any adjacent development that might clash with the purpose of the cemetery.
“Accordingly, in line with the Detailed Land Use Plan, Plot 320 measuring about 9.54 Hectares is designated a cemetery plot for Galadimawa District where both Suncity and Spring estates are located, though yet to be developed.”
The FCDA further disclosed that Plots 1151 and 1152 in Kaura District were designated as sector cemetery plots in line with both the Abuja Master Plan and the District Development Plan.
It clarified, “On the fears that burying COVID-19 dead bodies at the cemetery posed danger to the residents in the neighbourhood through the contamination of boreholes, the FCDA wishes to state that except in cases of haemorrhagic fevers such as Lassa Fever, Ebola and cholera, dead bodies are generally not infectious.
“There is also little or no evidence of persons being infected from exposure to bodies of persons who died from COVID-19.”