The search for sustainable disposal of dead bodies: the case of Botoku, rural Ghana

Tsey, Komla (2018) The search for sustainable disposal of dead bodies: the case of Botoku, rural Ghana. OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development, 11 (5). pp. 23-30.

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Abstract

Globally, it is widely acknowledged that we need to find more sustainable ways of disposing the dead bodies of our loved ones. Yet, there is hardly any publications in the development literature about ways in which researchers and development workers can engage and support communities towards the changes in attitudes, emotions and feelings that are required to let go of traditional religious beliefs and rituals in regard to unsustainable funeral practices. This paper uses an autoethnographic approach to narrate the story of Botoku, a rural community in south-east Ghana's ongoing search for sustainable burial practices and the associated community conflicts involved. At issue is the challenge of sustainability, how to ensure that burial practices meet the land usage needs of the present populations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs for land. The paper highlights the importance of good negotiation and mediation skills that are underpinned by a deep understanding of local context, norms and values, in an attempt to engage and support communities to change deeply engrained practices such as funerals and burials.

Item ID: 57512
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1923-6662
Keywords: community engagement, conflict mediation, population growth, sustainable burial practices, soft skills
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Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 Komla Tsey. OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication. OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development support creative common license CC BY.
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2019 23:17
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960999 Land and Water Management of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960699 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation not elsewhere classified @ 70%
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