Prices for graves escalate in Accra

Dying in Accra has become costly, with prices of graves at the various cemeteries ranging from GHC4,000 to GHC5,000

Families are paying more in recent times for space to bury their dead as prices of graves in Accra keep increasing.

Visits by The Mirror to some cemeteries showed that over the past five years, prices for graves had increased at different rates.

At the Osu Cemetery in Accra, a worker who only gave his name as Sammy said the office charged GHC4,900 and that included the service for digging the grave.

He explained that the grave price had been increasing significantly from GHC830 in 2018 to between GHC2,500 and GHC3,500 last year and is now GHC4,900.

Social media

Asked about information circulated on social media and supported by a purported receipt of GHC14,000 as full payment for a grave in the cemetery, the officer in charge said those allegations were false.

Although some people were in doubt, some believed it to be true, claiming that those who preferred to bury their relatives around the entrance at the cemetery paid much more.

“There has never been anyone who paid more than GHC4,900. This amount is for the site, the digging, and all that goes into making a proper tomb. The requirement is that a medical doctor must provide the cause of death, which you will use to obtain a death certificate at the Births and Deaths Registry for about GHC30.

This is what will be used to obtain a burial permit here, all at the cost of GHC4,900,” he explained.

Virgin land 

He said the cemetery had virgin land and allocated space for “reserve burials,” and the people who patronised such services made a yearly maintenance payment at a small fee.

The cemetery, he said, was committed to ensuring that bodies that had been buried were not exhumed or relocated.

“We have bodies that have been here for years—over 30 years. We have no culture of removing or relocating dead bodies, nor do we clear tombs to make way for new bodies to be buried in them,” he added.

Awudome Cemetery

The situation was not different at the Awudome cemetery, even though the price for a grave was lower as compared to the Osu cemetery.

A cemetery attendant at the Awudome Cemetery, who had worked for 22 years, explained that those who did not want to erect a tombstone were required to pay GHC1,100 and those who wanted a well-laid tomb paid GHC2,600.


The Mirror also visited Gethsemane Memorial Park (GMP) and Madina Public Cemetery.

Albert Eyeson, the administrator of the GMP in East Legon, Accra, stated that the cost of a burial plot was GHC47,000.

He said, however, that within the last year, the cost had been increased by GHC2,000, from GHC45,000 to GHC47,000, to cater for the governmental increment in value-added tax (VAT) from 13% to 15%.

The amount, he said, also covered a 20-year lease of the burial space, the digging of the grave, and the construction of a tombstone.

• The cost for a burial plot at the Gethsemane Memorial Park, East Legon in Accra is GH¢47,000

The 20-year lease

According to him, after the expiration of the 20-year lease, clients could choose to renew or collect the remains of their loved ones.

Touching on the recent inflation rate and its effect on their business, Eyeson said the business had not been impacted since they had a fixed annual increment rate of GHC1000.

Eyeson said that the cemetery required regular maintenance to keep it beautiful and well-suited to its niche market.

He mentioned that the cost of maintenance included landscaping and general upkeep, which was funded through the fees collected for burials.

Madina cemetery

Our next stop was the Madina Public Cemetery, located in Madina-Samanpom, Accra, which is run by the government.

It is an option for citizens who want an affordable grave. Here, the caretaker, Kofi Dampare, said that the price for a burial plot was GHC450, which was paid at the Madina Municipal Assembly.

“The client then pays GH¢300 as a digging fee to the ‘boys boys’ for a regular four by two foot measurement. That amount increases to GHC700 if the client wants the dugout plastered and painted,” he added.

He said most cemeteries have only dug just two feet in recent times instead of the usual six feet because “it isn’t necessary anymore to have it at six feet. However, if anyone wants the six feet, it can still be done. Also, depending on the specific requirements, the cost can rise to GHC 2,000”.

Dampare explained that the cost had increased over the last two years mainly due to inflation rates, even though he could not provide a definite figure as to how much the cost was some two years ago.

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