Sanitation, water and hygienic conditions at the Koforidua Prison is fast deteriorating compelling about 800 male prisoners to resort to the use of a-cup-of water per meal daily due to the acute water shortage that has hit the Eastern Regional capital and its environs.
As a result, the inmates are made to flush the toilet with after-bath-water every five hours after several members have visited the facility, the situation has affected the inmates per water tap, toilet and hand washing facility as the prison was constructed to house 400 inmates.
These were made known by an inmate, Winifred Dzatse, when the National Planning Committee of the World Water Day celebration under the auspices of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources and journalists visited the Koforidua prison to access the water situation there.
The visit was to appreciate the challenges of inmate’s access to water and was on the theme: ‘leaving no one behind’
Enumerating the challenges facing the convicts at the prison Dzatse said their predicament was compounded by an acute water shortage adding that the four reservoirs which use to serve them when the taps stopped running, could not be filled as they could not get enough water supply.
“We are being killed by scarcity of water so please come to our aid ”, he pleaded with the government and other benevolent organisations.
During an interaction with the media, the officer in charge of the Koforidua Prison, Mr Benedict Bob Dery, added that the situation was very bad as though his predecessors claim it was better now.
‘I have been here since the past four years and I can state clearly that the water flow here is nothing to write home about, we have to mostly rely on the Ghana National Fire Service(GNFS) to provide us with water and those services provided are not enough to cater for the needs of the inmates’ he said.
In case of disease outbreak like cholera, chicken pox, tuberculosis, Mr Dery feared lot of deaths may occur if urgent action was not put in place to address the situation.
While acknowledging the effort of some benevolent organisations by providing them with mechanised borehole, he stressed that the capacity of available water systems have been surpassed by more 250 percent which has led to the broken of the borehole.
“ The initial plan of the detention service was not to house inmate but rather designed as a storage facility to keep weapons as directed by our colonial masters but however, been redesigned as a prison facility”, he said.
FROM BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY, KOFORIDUA