The move is to ease the transportation difficulties faced by Prison staff escorting inmates to and from courts and hospitals. It was also meant to encourage staff to adhere to WHO guidelines in the promotion of social distancing, which is critical in the fight against the deadly pandemic.
At the handing over ceremony held at UN House, Alssate De UNDP Country resident representative, said the donation is meant to enhance mobility strength of the staff, prisoners and medics in the fight against the pandemic.
The government, she said, has laid down plans to fight COVID19 pandemic, further expressing UNDPs resolve to support the government of The Gambia in its quest to combat the fight against Coronavirus.
She added that UNDP together with GCCI are looking at other areas where they can make an impact to help prevent the spread of the pandemic in various locations of the detention centre.
This, she said, is the reason why GCCI alongside UNDP joined together to hand over a mini-bus to the Gambia Prison Services to make sure that staff gets to work in a safe condition.
For his part, Edi Mass Jobe, president of Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, observed that an overcrowded prison would be a potential place to fast-track the spread of the virus.
“The prisons are overcrowded and even after people are liberated we still feel that the prison should be decongested further and that is why together with the UNDP we are going to repair two blocks at Jeshwang Prisons and equip it. We hope that process will start soon but today we are here to provide the Prison Services with a 30- seater mini-bus that was acquired through the help of the UNDP. But we are also in partnership to provide the vehicle with fuel for the next six months and GCCI will be responsible for entirely the maintenance cost”.
Anusumana Manneh, Director General of Gambia Prison Services, said Prisons are among the most vulnerable places thus following the measures, such as social distancing would help a great deal in curbing the spread of the virus.
He assured that the vehicle would be of great benefit in their daily operations; further thanking UNDP and GCCI for the timely support.