Red Cross rescues Chikurubi inmates

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THE Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services (ZPCS) yesterday commissioned the first phase of Chikurubi Water Project that includes three water boreholes to supply clean water to 10 000 people living at the prison complex.

BY KENNEDY NYAVAYA

The over $140 000 water project was funded by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) working in partnership with ZPCS and Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa).

Speaking at the official hand-over ceremony, ZPCS Deputy Commissioner-General Moses Chihobvu lauded the gesture by ICRC saying it had come at a time when the ZPCS has been struggling for the past decade to provide water for Chikurubi inhabitants.

“This excellent and exceptional good gesture needs to be commended, as this donation has come after stretching a period of over 10 years without consistent running water at Chikurubi Prison Complex,” Chihobvu said.

He added the assistance had surfaced in-the-nick of time when the Service had been greatly affected in carrying out their duties efficiently owing to water shortages in the city.

“The increasing population in and around Harare has to a great extent brought with it inadequate provision of general service delivery, hence the assistance rendered towards the fruition of this project came at an opportune moment,” Chihobvu said.

ICRC head of Regional Delegation Thomas Merkelbach said the initiative was initiated upon realisation of the crisis and their goal to provide humanitarian service.

“We are proud to have supported critical investments in infrastructure which will provide ZPCS with a strong foundation to continue to provide water for the inmates, prison officers and their dependents for years to come,” Merkelbach said.

In-mates also expressed happiness over the construction of the boreholes saying it would eliminate the hardships they faced when there was water rationing which would stretch for fortnights, saying adequate water supply was necessary to eliminate breeding of diseases.

“We used to have a few water access points and they would be congested in days when water would be available but now we have showers and the flashing systems are working so it is safe even for little children since the water is clean,” said Kudzai Nyoka, a female inmate.

The largest maximum prison has been having a lot of challenges in the recent past that include shortages of clothes and food that culminated in a mini riot recently. Other developmental partners have since chipped in with food donations to ease the situation.

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