Hon. Jawara: D90M budget approved for Prison Dept

Feb 23, 2021, 11:38 AM | Article By: Adama Tine

After a visit at the Central Prison and other prison installations last year, the Standing Committee on Defence and Security of the National Assembly felt it was necessary that the livelihood of the prisoners and prison officers be upgraded.

So in that regard, during the last budgeting, the committee was able to add to the budget of the Ministry of Interior D90 million for the renovation of the Central Prison, Jeshwang Prison and Janjanbureh Prison.

At the end of this year’s tour, this reporter was speaking to Hon. Dawda Kawsu Jawara, a member of the committee for Upper Fulladou West Constituency, said the committee had seen on the ground situations where “our men have put their lives on the ground trying to keep the people safe.”

According to him, although soldiers are trained to obey first before complaining, they have seen some of their conditions and when it comes to accommodation and other logistics being basically absent.

“These people are time and time stretching themselves to reasonable levels to be able to carry out their mandate which we have seen across the board from Farafenni to Basse as far as Fatoto, who are doing so much with so little which is not fair,” he said.

When asked about his view on the budgetary allocations before and now, Hon. Jawara said: “What is visible on the ground is the real disconnect between our approach to budgeting and the realities of the day.” He added that the reality on the ground is far different from the way we are approaching the budgetary allocations.

Sekouba Jarju, a member of the committee, lawmaker for Busumbala Constituency, said there are so many things “we have found are lacking in all the security institutions that we have visited, but as it is now, the job of a security is to respond on time. So in order for them to respond on time, mobility is necessary.

He added that the committee has realised that in all the institutions visited, mobility is equal to nothing in all of those institutions they visited which clearly tells that mobility is key for security to be able to do their job.

“Moral is never their problem, they are ready to sacrifice themselves in any condition that they are into but if they don’t have the required materials to do their job, it will be very difficult,” he continued.

“By doing assessment, Gambia is almost surrounded by Senegal which means any part of the country that you go to, there is a crossing point which is prone to crime and which causes border crimes to be disclosed by all the security institutions we visited,” he concluded.