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Uganda: ICRC completes repair work in three prisons

12-12-2008 News Release 08/232

Kampala (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), working in cooperation with the Uganda Prison Service, has completed repairs on health facilities at Katojo prison and improvements to the water supply systems at the Ibuga and Ruimi prison farms.

Installation of solar panels to power the water pump at Ibuga Prison farm in Fort Portal.    

The three facilities are situated in Fort Portal, Kabarole district, in the western part of the country. Around 3,000 inmates, and prison staff and their families, will now have better access to health facilities and safer water supplies. Johnson Byabashaija, the commissioner general of the prison service, and Jürg Eglin, who heads the ICRC's Kampala delegation, today officially inaugurated the upgraded facilities.

At Katojo prison the ICRC renovated the health centre, the sickbay and the upper ward. The prison health centre serves 1,500 inmates, the prison staff and their families, and the surrounding community.

At the Ibuga prison farms the ICRC drilled a new borehole and installed a solar pumping system that can supply 13,000 litres of water per day to 550 inmates, the prison staff and their families. In addition, an existing borehole was improved by replacing its manual pump.

At the Ruimi prison farms the ICRC drilled two new boreholes. One was fitted with a manual pump, the other with an electrical submersible pump. Together they will supply water to 900 inmates, the prison staff and their families.

" The work carried out by the ICRC will improve health in prisons,'' said the commissioner general. " The solar water pump that has been installed will stand out as a model way of supplying safe water to rural prisons. "

The ICRC works to improve the living conditions of those arrested in connection with internal conflict or disturbances, or for national security reasons, while monitoring their treatment and conditions of detention, and the respect accorded judicial guarantee s. Its observations and recommendations are conveyed confidentially to the authorities concerned. In Uganda, the places of detention visited by the ICRC include military barracks and police stations as well as prisons.

For further information, please contact:
  Anna Schaaf, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 2271 or +41 79 217 3217
  Pascal Jequier, ICRC Kampala, tel. +256 772 221 994 or +256 41 341 605/6