Funeral service providers are facing it hard as most of the services have suffered setback due to President Yoweri Museveni directives on restrictions of crowds at burial.
Funeral service providers offer various services like arranging church services, provision of tents,chairs,mobile toilets and public system, transportation of remains in hearses, video coverage and still photography, coffin drapes, body bags and funeral equipment, grave construction and finishing, spiritual and professional counseling, catering services, organization of memorial services among others.
According to Regina Mukiibi Magongo, Managing Director and co-founder of Uganda Funeral Services, they have faced it hard. This because most of the services they offer are no longer being offered due to a few numbers of people attending the burial ceremony.
She says that they only remained with few services they are offering since other services they offer are to do with crowds of people and now that burials are attended by few members, all those services were cut off.
“In catering where we have been feeding over 3,000 mourners, now you can find 10 or 20 people, we have been providing chairs like a hundred sitter tent, mobile toilets and all that, now that numbers reduced that is now a loss on our side. “Says ED Mukiibi.
She says they are among those services regarded essential but they have faced it hard when it comes to transport their workers since a big number is not having cars, so transporting them has become a challenge and a big source of expenditure to them.
“We no longer rush for clients because of Coronavirus, now we only work on people who die from hospitals and they have a clear description of their death.” She adds.
Mike Ssekanja , Managing Director Rhino Funeral Services, says they had to minimize the number of workers because the President Museveni directed that workers should not be congested at work place.
Ssekanja says the business is down because most of the patients were discharged and sent back to villages before the ban on public transport.
“The business is down because people no longer do full services; they only do the transportation and caskets. Since they put a ban on these gatherings we rush things and they are always attended by very few people”. Ssekanja says
He explains and says that in a week they can only receive like one or two clients yet they used to be with over 20 a week.
An employee at Kampala Funeral Directors who preferred anonymity says the business is totally down and they almost spend the days siting. He did not reveal more about how the business is totally down saying the right person to give the information was not around.
President Yoweri Museveni has on Wednesday announced that public gatherings, including church mass and services have been suspended with immediate effect as the government tackles the outbreak of Coronavirus globally.
Addressing the nation, Mr. Museveni said that cabinet under his chairmanship had suspended all public gatherings, sporting events, open-air religious meetings and “all events that are of a huge public nature”.
President issued a directive on burials and says it could not be postponed, but it should be for a few people ─ the concerned homestead.
Therefore, funeral services providers say that this and more directives have really left the funeral services business between hard rocks.