Essay The Shortage of Columbaria

Essay The Shortage of Columbaria

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Because of the limited land supply, finding affordable housing is an enormous challenge for most of the Hong Kong people and even for the dead. To make matter worse, the ageing population rises the number of death and the demand for cremation and columbaria. According to the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department’s statistic (2013), “the number of cremations is expected to increase from 38000 in 2010 to 47300 in 2020” (p.1). As a result, it leads to an acute shortage of columbaria. In order to satisfy the public demand for columbaria, it is vital for the Hong Kong government to increase the supply of columbarium facilities and promote the sustainable way of handling cremains. To achieve this objective, there are three solutions, including the district-based columbarium development scheme, formulating licensing scheme and promoting the scattering of cremains at sea or in Gardens of Remembrance.

The district-based columbarium development scheme aims at increasing the supply of columbaria by building columbaria facilities in all 18 districts. As Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (2013) claims, “the Government is pursuing the 24 potential sites for columbarium development identified across the territory in each of the 18 districts” (p.2). If the government can expand the columbarium facilities across the 18 districts, it is clear that this can increase the supply of columbaria. However, the government may need to face a strong disagreement among the general public. For the traditional Chinese people, the columbarium facilities carry a negative impact on feng shui and provoke a disturbance to the neighboring residents. Based on the Chinese tradition, people burn paper offerings and joss sticks during grave sweeping. This wi...


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...ng SAR. Development Bureau. (30 September 2013). Information on Private Columbaria: Part A and Part B. Hong Kong: Author. Retrieved November 9, 2013 from the World Wide Web: http://www.devb.gov.hk/filemanager/en/content_756/Columbarium_List_20120130.pdf

Hong Kong SAR. Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. (8 January 2013). Usage and Promotion of Gardens of Remembrance, Scattering Cremains at Sea and Internet Memorial Service. Hong Kong: Author. Retrieved November 9, 2013 from the World Wide Web: http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr12-13/english/panels/fseh/papers/fe0108cb2-415-5-e.pdf

Hong Kong SAR. Food and Health Bureau. (December 2011). Public Consultation on Licensing Scheme for Private Columbaria. Hong Kong: Author. Retrieved November 9, 2013 from the World Wide Web: http://www.gov.hk/en/residents/government/publication/consultation/docs/2220/Private_Columbaria.pdf

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