Prisoners at the Kumasi Central Prisons have appealed to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, through Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, to exercise his presidential powers and grant some of them amnesty.
According to them, prison inmates across Ghana have not enjoyed amnesty from any Head of State since 2017, even though some of their colleagues are old and sick. They have also expressed worry about their meager GHC1.80 daily feeding fee.
A spokesman (name withheld) made the appeal on behalf of his colleagues, when the Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, commissioned a water system at the Kumasi Central Prisons, as part of improving service at the prisons facilities across Ghana.
The project seeks to correct chronic water shortage, which has rocked the Ghana Prisons for decades.
Other beneficiary facilities are Ankaful Camp Prisons, Ejura, Kenyase, Navrongo, Bawku (Local Prisons), Kete Krachi, Yendi, Salaga and Koforidua.
The prison leader also called for renovation of their infirmary, which he described as horrible. He, however, thanked the Veep for the gesture, adding that the water system has come at the right time since it has been a great challenge.
Commissioning the water system facility, Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia emphasised the need to keep personal and environmental hygiene in prisons facilities across Ghana.
He attributed the inadequate water supply to the upsurge of inmates in prisons, adding that per international standards, each prisoner is to take three litres of water per day, excluding their day-to-day activities such as washing, bathing, performing of ablution and others.
Backing his claims with United Nations conventions for treatment of prisons, code named Mandela Rule, to which Ghana is a signatory, Alhaji Bawumia mentioned that all countries are to ensure that potable drinking water is available to all prisoners.
The Vice President quoted the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) six, which demands “Safety and Potable Drinking Water for All”, a goal he said President Akufo-Addo is committed to and which has manifested in provision of water system by government to prisons across the country.
He told the forum that government has installed two new hand pumps at the male and female prisons at the Nsawam Prisons, adding that four mechanised boreholes have also been provided for the Nsawam Prisons.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia expressed optimism that efforts towards the provision of adequate water in prisons facilities will go a long way to address water problems across prisons in Ghana.
According to Dr. Bawumia, the development at the prisons come under the backdrop of president Akufo-Addo’s unshakeable objective of transforming Ghana, a crusade that would not leave anybody out.
He continued that, the rolling out of government’s programmes such 1D1F, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) and Free Senior High School all seek to transform Ghana and that, nobody is being left behind since government wants Ghanaians to benefit.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who heads the Economic Management Team took notice of the pleas by the Ghana Prisons, asking them to trust president Akufo-Addo to address their grievances, including provision of water tankers and prisons conveyance vehicle, amongst others.
He thanked the Director General of Prisons and the entire leadership of prisoners for their work and urged them to stay on course.
Mr. Patrick Darko Missah, the Director General of Prisons (DGP) lauded the Vice President who he described as the best vice president the Ghana Prisons Service has ever had in the annals of the service.
He said that the provision of 19 water systems across prisons in Ghana, which is an initiative of the Veep is yielding immeasurable results at the grassroots of the prisons service.
According to him, over the years, the service has battled with water challenges, as a result of which the Service hired water tankers from the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) at a huge cost, for which the prisons service is indebted to the GWCL.
The provision of water systems by Bawumia has come at the right time, since the project will go a long way in addressing the acute water challenges that has bedeviled them over the years.
DGP Missah, however, appealed to the vice president to support the prisons with mattresses, raincoats, conveyance vehicle and water tankers.