Overcrowding of Syrian cemeteries and skyrocketing prices of grave sites, burial costs and transport have become a serious issue for families already facing the death of a relative.
Some cemeteries have reportedly stopped providing funeral services due to lack of burial space, testing the government's ability to find new cemeteries to meet demand.
Meanwhile, residents have expressed concern over the inability to find unoccupied unoccupied graves, even in new cemeteries. Moreover, new cemeteries are invariably a long way from the family home.
The price of the grave now ranges between 1,110,000 and 1,480,000 Syrian Pounds ($5000-$7500 USD) – out of reach for most Syrians earning average income – while the official price is by 20,000 Syrian Pounds.
Given the continually rising death toll in the country, and because of the dramatic price rise in nearly all basic goods and services, relatives have resorted to burying their dead on top of one another. The dead are being buried in shallow graves to avoid reaching the remains of previously buried corpses, which can cause unpleasant smells.
However the problem is not common to all Syrian governorates. In Tartus, for example, the city council provides all grave and all burial ceremony costs, while families are charged 250 SP for washing and other burial requirements.
Translated and edited by the Syrian Observer