The current electricity crisis facing the country is negatively affecting the operations of funeral parlours, players in the end-of-life industry have said.
Funeral Directors Association of Zimbabwe (FUDAZ) president, and general secretary of Old Mutual, Japhet Nyamuchengwa told NewsDay that the majority of players in the sector are small, therefore, cannot afford to use solar energy and generators. Said Nyamuchengwa:
Most family funeral businesses cannot afford to install alternative power like solar systems.
Electricity is essential in the whole funeral value chain from body removals, mortuary fridges, and casket manufacturing and chapel services.
As you may be aware, the majority of players in this space are small businesses; mostly family businesses that cannot afford the installation of solar or off-solar systems to avoid bodies rotting.
The decomposition of bodies has a negative effect on the funeral business.
From previous reports; one can conclude that the decomposition of bodies has had severe effects on businesses which include undesirable customer experiences and even litigation.
We have a few casket manufacturing plants that can produce quality caskets, and power blackouts lead to unsustainable stock levels and put pressure on the manufacturers to come up with products that can preserve bodies well.
Body removals are difficult to do in the absence of power as we need to identify bodies in public mortuaries.
The shortage of electricity poses a health hazard to the funeral players because it is difficult to keep good hygiene.
A chapel service is essential for identification and it is a requirement. Without power, the purpose of a chapel service is compromised.
Since November 2022, businesses and households have been experiencing prolonged power outages mainly due to depressed electricity generation at the country’s only reliable power plant, Kariba South power station.
The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) which manages Lake Kariba on behalf of Zimbabwe and Zambia, reduced water allocations for power generation because the power utilities had almost exhausted their allocations. | NewsDay