Leaders appealing for more prisons in Turkana

Counties Editor's Pick Governance Turkana

The officer in charge of Lodwar GK prison Maurice Opili is appealing to the county government to allocate the institution more land to address overcrowding at the prison.

Opili said his office had engaged the county government over the issue but it was still waiting for a formal commitment from the county lands department.

Lodwar GK prison currently has 760 inmates against a capacity to hold 500 inmates.

The institution wants to be allocated land in Kakuma where there is a law court and Lokichar where mobile courts are held.

‘It is costly to transport inmates from Kakuma in Turkana West and Lokichar in Turkana south sub counties to Lodwar law court,’ he said.

Going to and from Kakuma to Lodwar is 240 km while Lokichar to Lodwar to and fro journey is 180 km.

He added that the construction of the prisons will not only address congestion at Lodwar GK prison but also create employment through tenders for the local community.

Refugees from Kakuma account for a big number of inmates at the prison.

Lack of documents such as title deeds to bail out the inmates is another factor accounting for the high number of inmates in the prison according to the officer in charge.

The prison is a KCPE examination centre that currently has 16 registered candidates.

‘An adult classroom is needed to cater for the illiterate adult prisoners,’ added Opili.

The candidates are taught by one female adult education teacher which means the male inmates are left on their own.

Meanwhile, the county ICT officer Brian Ngetich has decried the theft of digital learning devices in schools and called for vigilance to curb the menace.

He also cited lack of electricity connectivity in some schools as a challenge in the county that has slowed the full implementation of the program.

By Peter Gitonga

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