How cremation works
Cremation is the process of reducing a body to its basic elements through a process that exposes it to open flames, intense heat and evaporation.
This is done in a specially designed furnace called a cremation chamber or retort. Many crematories require a container such as a casket appropriate for cremation or a rigid cardboard container for the body.
Cremation has been a bit of a mystery for many Kenyans and is widely seen as a foreign affair if not biblical.
How Long it takes
According to FuneralWise, today’s modern crematories use industrial furnaces designed just for cremation. The process takes about 2-3 hours to complete.
The crematory ensures that: The deceased is properly identified, the operator is safe, care and respect are used.
Kenya has about 18 cremation centres with the most common ones in Nairobi being the Lang’ata crematorium, Hindu crematorium and the Kariokor crematorium.
Many centers only allow family of the deceased to witness the cremation due to limited space.
The actual process of cremation consists of five basic steps.
1.The deceased is identified and proper authorization is obtained.
2.The body is prepared and placed into a proper container or casket.
3.The container with the body is moved to the “retort” or cremation chamber where family selects one person to light up the fire.
For non-electric crematoriums, a body requires about 40 litres of diesel to burn fully and the temperature is usually about 1,000 to 2,000 degrees Celsius.
4.After cremation, the remaining metal is removed and the remains are ground.
5.The “ashes” are transferred to either a temporary container or in an urn provided by the family. Family can opt to wait for the ashes or pick them the next day.
The ashes weigh in between a half or quarter a kilo depending on size of the body.
1. Cremation at Lang’ata costs about Ksh16,800 for an adult and Ksh12,000 for a child.
In 2015, the County Government of Nairobi increased the cost of burying the dead and lowered that of cremation through the Finance Bill.
The Bill proposed that in the 2015/2016 financial year, city residents would pay Ksh30,500, up from Ksh25,000 to bury at the already full Lang’ata cemetery.
The Bill seemed to encourage city residents to choose cremation after reducing cremation costs for an adult to Ksh9,000 from Ksh13,000, Ksh6,000 for a child and Ksh4,000 for an infant.
Scattering of ashes would be charged Ksh1,000.
2. Cremation at Hindu and Kariokor crematorium reportedly charges a flat rate of Ksh10,000 for Hindus and Ksh22,500 for a non-Hindu.
Other than Collymore, some of the renown persons who have been cremated in Kenya include Environmentalist Wangari Maathai, whose ashes were later buried at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental studies and the son of Kenya’s Royal Media Services owner SK Macharia. The son, John Macharia, passed away in 2018 at the Karen Hospital after an accident along the Southern bypass. Next