Essential Relief International, a non-governmental organisation, has constructed 10 water closet facilities and a refurbished concrete arc entrance for the Winneba Prison, in the Central Region.
Executive Director of the NGO, Evelyn Eduful, at the inauguration ceremony said, the gesture was an effort to strengthen ties with the prison. According to her, the new toilet facilities inside the cells would help improve sanitary conditions within the penal institution.
She also said the renovated entrance was not only to help ensure that inmates were protected but also to protect prison officers from external hindrances to their job.
The gesture by Essential Relief International may be a huge relief for inmates of the prison, as rules demand they are locked up in their cells at 4:30pm until early next day without access to a toilet facility.
The regular way of seeking relief during these hours then is to use a polythene bag or a bowl which has to be kept in the rather overcrowded cell until the next morning for disposal.
The international NGO believes such condition is “inhuman” and a “violation of fundamental human rights,” regardless of what the circumstances may be.
Expressing gratitude to Essential Relief for the gesture, DDP James Arthur on behalf of the Ghana Prison Service Directorate, admitted that the facilities would not only enhance the image of the correctional facility but would also benefit the current and future inmates.
He assured Madam Eduful that periodic maintenance will be carried out to make the facilities last longer.
Speaking at the function was the immediate past Officer in Charge of the facility, Assistant Director of Prisons, Augustin Bopam during whose tenure the project was initiated, commended the NGO for its assistance. ADP Bopam further called on other NGOs in the country to emulate the laudable example.
In addition to the donated facilities, Madam Eduful distributed over 300 toothpastes, brushes and soap as well as lunch for the inmates.
The event was attended by some known faces including rapper, Edem, who is a friend of the NGO.
Essential Relief International seeks among many others, to bring hope and relief to the less privileged and voiceless in society. This project is one in many of its ‘One cell one toilet’ projects to help bring some sanitary conditions into prisons in Ghana.