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The flourishing business of death in Kinshasa


That people die a bit more in developing countries than is the case in developed ones seems to be unquestionable. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is definitely no exception. Mortality and morbidity rate in the country is amongst the highest on the continent.
But one does not need WHO granular statistics to arrive at that conclusion. The growing number of graveyards mushrooming  in the outskirts Kinshasa, the constant unavailability of room in the few morgues still functional in the capital, and the transformation of most open spaces into makeshift funeraria are a testament to death’s invasive presence.

But what in DRC was over decades a disorganised business, with no driving strategy behind, has now morphed into a very lucrative and well-structured income-generating activity: the ineluctable  business of death. A business we all will someday have to deal with.

In stead of the crowded cemeteries where burial space is hardly available, now the business offers graves with a variety of choices à la carte. you can be buried as cheap as five hundred US Dollars or as expensive as several thousands of US Dollars.

Interestingly enough, this all has taken on an entrepreneurial nature, with the profit motive being the ball game.


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