Load shedding: Ticking timebomb at Mutare Remand Prison

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MUTARE – Trouble is looming at Mutare Remand Prison as long hours of electricity load shedding in the city have affected the water supply situation at the institution, putting hundreds of inmates at risk of contracting waterborne diseases.

This was revealed during a policy-dialogue meeting hosted by the Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) in collaboration with the European Union at a local hotel on Tuesday.

The policy dialogue meeting was aimed at improving the welfare of people serving their sentences in prisons for the various crimes committed.

An official from the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services who could not be named for professional reasons revealed that water shortages had crippled healthcare services at the overcrowded prison.

“Load shedding has greatly affected the pumping of water at the prison. This has had a great impact on the supply of clean water as well as sanitation,” said the official.

“There is a very urgent need for us to have storage tanks to avert the situation, but we do not have the required resources,” the official added.

The Zimbabwe Network for People Living with HIV and Aids provincial coordinator, Moses Chananuka, echoed similar sentiments.

“As stakeholders, we are very concerned with the poor water and sanitation situation at Mutare Remand Prison. We have cases where female inmates go for mensuration but without sanitary pads and water to bath,” he said.

“In most cases, mensurating inmates will spend long periods without bathing, putting them and others at high health risks,” said Chananuka.

Mutare Remand Prison has appealed to partners and stakeholders to come to their assistance and avert the disastrous situation.

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