On 23 July, the Prisons Service of The Gambia, with support from UNDP through its Rule of Law (RoL) Project, handed over the Jeshwang Prison Extension Wing to GAMWORKS for the completion and refurbishment of 2 dormitory facilities. Mr. Omar Gaye from GAMWORKS then proceeded to hand the site over to the contractor, We Khan Construction.
The Director General of Prisons, DG Ansumana Manneh speaking at the event, thanked the UNDP Rule of Law Project for supporting the refurbishment and its long commitment to supporting the Prisons Service to meet international standards on detention. He noted that the refurbishment of the dormitories was critical at this stage because of the spread of COVID-19. The Prisons are particularly high risk because of the restricted movement of detainees, limited space and lack of sufficient infrastructure and materials. He noted that the refurbishment would help ensure that the Prisons does not become an epicenter for the spread of COVID-19.
UNDP’s Chief Technical Specialist, Ms. Shahzada Ahmad, thanked the Prisons Service for the positive partnership with UNDP and the Prisons commitment to institutional reform. She noted that the UNDP RoL Project had been working in cooperation with the Prisons on a number of areas including training, ICT support, legal aid and the Virtual Court. Ms. Ahmad then thanked Mr. Gaye and colleagues from GAMWORKS for taking up this critical work under difficult conditions. She thanked the representative from We Khan Construction and wished them good luck.
Mr. Gaye thanked the DG Prisons and the UNDP for their commitment to improving the prison facilities. He thanked the representative from We Khan Construction and wished him good luck on completing the project on time. He noted the importance of supporting the Prisons Service under COVID conditions. He then handed over the site to We Khan Construction which committed to completing the work on time.
The project will refurbish 2 dormitories and raise the low perimeter wall of the Jeshwang Prison Extension. The dormitories will provide residence for 100-200 detainees and raising the low perimeter wall will allow the inmates to move more freely within the facility. The Prisons Service will be able to shift remand inmates from the congested Remand Wing of Mile 2 to the new facilities. It is hoped that this will reduce the risk and spread of COVID amongst detainees and prison personnel. The project is set to finish in 4 months.