GENERAL NEWS

Coronavirus dips coffin sales in Assin areas

By
Isaac Arkoh, GNAAssin Fosu (C/R),
March 25, GNA – Players in the funeral industry in Assin North, Assin South and
Assin Central areas have bemoaned low sales since the President’s directive
banning all social gatherings to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

They described the
low level of sales as unprecedented and a serious drain on their income –
affecting their investments and business expansions.

In an interview with
the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Johnson Lamptey, a 52-year-old casket maker
with over 20 years of experience said, “This is the first time we are
experiencing such a massive dip in sale returns.”

Holding his
cross-cut saw, and pointing sadly to over 10 caskets that were not collected
last week, he prayed that the directive was reversed in no time to enable them
stay in business.

Mr Lamptey who owns
“You were once like me” casket designing shop near the Assin Fosu St Francis
Hospital morgue said his sales had reduced from, at least, six per week to two.

Mr Odame, another
dealer whose business is at Assin Bereku, the capital of the Assin North
District, said his capital was locked up due to low patronage.

He said he normally
sold at least five coffins per week with prices ranging from GH¢1,500.00 to
GH¢7,000.00, but sold only two coffins after the directive on COVID-19
preventive measures.

He complained about
how their businesses were grinding to a halt as a result of poor sales coupled
with their inability to access wood, now selling at “exceptionally exorbitant”
prices as major factors affecting the progress of their businesses.

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Madam Ernestine
Baidoo, a seamstress and a funeral Decor with over 15 apprentices also lamented
about the drop in sales.

“I can’t pay my
workers and feed my family of four as a widow, but my prayer is to get more
buyers for my beautiful funeral dresses,” she said as she hanged some of
her dresses on the nails in her shop.

Madam Ernestina who
sold not less than GH¢3,500.00 of funeral dresses per week had made only
GH¢2,400.00 over the period of the directive.

Uncertain about when
the directive will be reversed, Madam Ernestina with over 18 years’ experience
in the business, said, “We always pray for increased sales.

“No matter what, we
will all die one day so it is not a sin for us to pray for high sales,” she
added.

At Nyakomasi Ahenkro
in the Assin South District, some casket makers and dealers in funeral wares
complained of piles of uncollected caskets, wreath and wares as owners called
to suspend their funerals.

Mr Williams Arhin, a
35-year-old casket maker complained about financial difficulties in taking care
of his family.

Also, it was not
different at the Assin Fosu Polyclinic and Brofoyedru private morgue, the
biggest facility serving the three districts.

Officials spoke with
the GNA on condition of anonymity expressed fears about possibility of not
being able to break even if the situation persisted for long.

They largely
complained about stagnant sales and prayed the government to reduce utility
bills with constant supply to enable them sustain their businesses.

GNA

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