Space crisis for female inmates has hit Mulanje Prison as it is still registering an increase in the number of female inmates, exceeding the recommended capacity of 10.
Currently there are 19 women, some of whom have childtren.
Malawi Prison Service (MPS) national projects officer Elliott Chagwa said this on Saturday at Mulanje Prison where the Community of Sant’ Egidio handed over an K18.6 million Water backup and Rehabilitation Project.
He said the prison faces a lot of challenges to accommodate female inmates, a situation which affects the rehabilitation and lives of the prisoners.
Chagwa said: “We still have challenges, especially in the female section, but Sant’ Egidio has promised to construct a new female cell which will solve this problem.”
He urged inmates and prison officers to take care of the equipment which include six water taps, water pumping machine and 10 000-litre water tanks. The Community of Sant’ Egidio also rehabilitated toilets and bathrooms at the prison.
In an interview after the handover ceremony, Community of Sant’ Egidio responsible for Mulanje Bruce Tambwali said there was a high risk of contracting waterborne diseases when water board taps ran dry; hence, the project.
He said: “We frequently visit prisons to share the gospel with prisoners. We discovered that most challenges in prison result from lack of sanitation and water. We raised funds for this water backup system to improve their hygienic condition.”
One of the female inmates, Rose Kumpama, thanked the community for the gesture.
The prison’s capacity is 250, but currently it is accommodating 489 prisoners.