The Maldives government has decided to close the doors on the currently used Aasaharaa Cemetery in capital Male and hold funerals of those that pass away in Male and suburb Villimale in the reclaimed island of Hulhumale beginning next month.
The government had initially decided to halt funerals in Aasaharaa Cemetery, which now boasts three layers, around a year ago, but the proceedings had been put on hold until now.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs announced Monday that the government will go ahead with the plan to transfer funerals in the greater Male area to Hulhumale in February, and that preparations are nearly complete.
The remains of the deceased will be carried by a sea ambulance first to the airport island of Hulhule, from where the remains will be transferred via ambulance to Hulhumale. All expenses of transfer are to be covered by Aasandha, the national healthcare insurance scheme of the Maldives.
“We’re now in the last stage of discussions with MNDF (Maldives National Defence Force), hospitals and officials of Aasandha,” said an official of the ministry.