• Officials says number of visitors has been restricted.
• Fears inmates might misuse sanitisers if provided
Prisoners at Kodiaga must dip their legs in chlorine water to disinfect their shoes as part of strict measures being implemented at the Kisumu correctional facility to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Handwashing points have been put in strategic places with limited interactions between inmates.
Officer-in-charge George Diang’a said they have heightened hygiene as required by the Health ministry directives against the spread of Covid-19.
He said they preferred the footbaths because inmates might misuse sanitiser if given to them.
He said they have also cut the number of visitors to ensure social distancing. All officers must wear masks and the facility is frequently fumigated.
The Kodiaga Maximum Prison (now Kisumu Maximum Prison) has about 3,000 inmates with 2,500 staff and their families.
Diang'a said no one is allowed into the facility without washing their hands.
Those visiting the prisons have been urged to cooperate in observing social distancing and all other measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.
“We have also reduced the number of visitors,” Diang'a said. He said they have more mobile phones to allow inmates to communicate with their relatives.
He said the inmates have been counselled and told the limitations are temporary measures aimed at protecting them against Covid-19.
“We have talked with inmates on the need to protect themselves and how. They have been informed about the need to frequently wash their hands, avoid close contact as well as shaking hands,” Diang'a said.
The official said they were fully prepared with adequate measures to protect inmates and staff.
“Fighting the virus requires a collective responsibility and therefore we need to minimise face-to-face contact with civilians,” Diang’a said.
He also urged those visiting prisons to protect themselves and their families by strictly adhering to the Health ministry regulations.
Diang’a said there was a slight decrease in the number of inmates following successful appeal cases. He, however, noted the increased number of remandees in the region, especially those of gender-based violence and sexual cases.
“We are in a difficult situation because with the increased number of offenders, our facility cannot accommodate the increasing number of inmates, especially with social distancing measures,” Diang’a said.
Edited by P.O