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Prison inmates engaged to clean up Accra

Inmates who have few months to complete their jail term have been engaged in a clean-up exercise to help address sanitation issues in the nation’s capital, Accra. They were seen at Mile 7, a suburb of Accra, weeding, desilting drains and sweeping the streets of the area, as part of initiative to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa.

The Ghana Prisons Service and the management of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, last month signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to engage a category of prison inmates to clean the city. Per the MoU, the inmates are expected to work five days a week, with Zoomlion providing them with the needed logistics such as trucks, shovels, wheelbarrows, reflectors and nose guards, while the service would also provide security for the inmates and prepare them with escorts to the various sites.

A prison officer who spoke with the Ghanaian Times on condition of anonymity, said the arrangement, sanctioned by Parliament, was to enable the inmates to channel their energies to productive work in cleaning the city to make it beautiful.

He said so far, the inmates had been able to clean through to Kanda Highway to the Electoral Commission and the Accra Psychiatric Hospital as well as the Ridge Roundabout. Other areas the inmates covered were Labone, Alajo and Tesano among others.

According to him, all the inmates for the exercise, have been transferred to James Camp Prison from other prison facilities, saying that rapists, murderers and armed robbers were not part of the programme.

Maxwell Owusu, an inmate said he had served six years in prison and was left with nine months to gain his freedom. Speaking on his ordeal, Mr Owusu said he was detained as a result of clubbing a man whom he suspected to be having an affair with his girlfriend.

BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY

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