BUIEBI PRISON AT RISK OF CLOSURE

"It has been a year now since the quake caused major damages to infrastructure but nothing has been done by relevant authorities to restore the damages."

The Buiebi Prison facility in Southern Highlands Province is at risk of been condemned by health authorities if water woes at the facility don't improve. The only water pump that services the prison camp was destroyed during the 7.5 magnitude earthquake in the province and is far from been restored.

It has been a year now since the quake caused major damages to infrastructure but nothing has been done by relevant authorities to restore the damages.

Prison Commander Bob Omba said the prison relied on rain and creek water during the one year and could face condemnation due to the fears of water-borne diseases from consumption of unsafe water.  

He said while they face water issues, they have recently received an additional 45 remandees from Baisu in Western Highlands.

Commander Omba said 16 other remandees from police cells in the province and Hela have been brought back leaving the prison housing over 70 inmates.

On top of that, they are encountering landowner issues with the use of the creek as a source for water.

“Landowners are demanding payments from the institution for using their creek to fetch water,”

He said the department had no funds despite a K166 million budget allocated for CS 2019 budget. Provincial authorities seem to have turned a blind eye and have not assisted since last year.  

Meanwhile, K398 million Southern Highlands Provincial budget presented recently highlighted priority areas in law and order in the province with an emphasis on upgrading Buiebi.

“This could be light at the end of the tunnel but no definite word has reached us when actual work can begin."

By Tom KILAVI
February 21, 2019