New dormitories at the Jeshwang detention center were unveiled and handed over to the Gambia Prisons Department on Thursday 17 December 2020, by the Government of The Gambia, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI). The works have been realized in partnership with GAMWORKS through ‘We Khan’ Construction Company with UNDP provided funding which enabled the refurbishment and rebuilding of new Prison dormitories at Jeshwang Detention Center and at Mile 2, which has been further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. The support to the Prisons also included 200 bunkbeds and 200 mattresses provided by GCCI.
The Director General of the Prisons Service Ansumana Manneh, The CEO of The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Alieu Secka and the UNDP Resident Representative Aissata De, jointly opened the newly built dormitories and perimeter wall of the Jeshwang detention center.
The innovative approach of the partnership with the private sector such as GCCI, was premised on the Agenda 2030 principle in order to leave no one behind, and this includes prisoners as well, during the COVID-19 response. This was vital to ensure that the detainees of the congested Mile 2 Prisons were also spared from the fatal spread of the pandemic, said Aissata De, the Resident Representative of UNDP.
“The year 2020 has been a very difficult year for the world, but thanks to the UNDP and the GCCI, it has been a progressive year for the Gambia Prison Service, due to the newly built dormitories, PPEs and the renovation of the infirmary,” Ansumana Manneh, the Prisons Service Director General said.
On his part, Alieu Secka, CEO of GCCI said their early intervention in the Prisons, helped to reduce and prevent a COVID-19 outbreak; that
the new dormitories come at a critical time for inmates at the prisons, as they faced the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic with ongoing strengthened efforts to mitigate the risk of infections; that the Prison Service, in partnership with UNDP and GCCI worked in a diligent manner to decongest the Remand Wing and secure the perimeter wall for Jeshwang.
In addition to the completion of the dormitories, the 200 bunkbeds and 200 mattresses, Secka said the Prison Service was also provided a 30-seater and 6 months of fuel and maintenance from GCCI; that the GCCI also distributed 100,000 worth of detergents and 10 handwashing stations to prison facilities.
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