The West Akyem Municipal Security Council (MUSEC) has banned the use of motorbikes, taxis and trucks from transporting corpses in the Municipality.
The decision which was taken on Tuesday, February 26, followed evident reports that bereaved families, particularly in rural parts of the municipality, use unapproved vehicles instead of a hearse to transport corpses from the Asamankese Hospital Morgue for burial.
More seriously, they board the same vehicle carrying the corpse—a situation the Municipal Health Directorate says is a serious public health threat, hence the ban after extensive consultation with stakeholders in the Municipality including the Ghana Private Road Transport Union, MTTD among others.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for West Akyem who doubles as Chairman of MUSEC, Seth Oduro Boadu told Starr News the Council also took a decision with immediate effect to allow only five bereaved family members to accompany a hearse to the mortuary to convey a corpse while ensuring that the drivers are not drunk.
He said Police Officers will be stationed at the Hospital Morgue to strictly enforce the directives.
“The Municipal Security Council has taken a decision that from tomorrow going nobody will be allowed to use any car to convey a corpse from the mortuary to any destination apart from a hearse.
“If you are caught using any car apart from a hearse, the law will catch up with you. So we have tasked the Divisional Commander and the Municipal Commander to make sure that this instruction strictly adheres to,” he said.
The directives are part of measures aimed at avoiding the recurrence of the fatal accident in the Municipality—the latest involving 71 mourners overloaded in Kia Rhino Truck, killing eight persons with 63 sustaining varying degrees of injuries. The mourners were following the corpse of a young man to Asuokaw community.
The Police are expected to carry out public education on local radio stations in the area on the decisions taken to ensure that residents are well informed and also allow for swift implementation.
Meanwhile, the Ghana National Ambulance Service has rendered an unqualified apology over the refusal of its staff to transport some victims of the ghastly accident to the Eastern Regional Hospital in Koforidua over cash.