Gaborone, Botswana, November 5, 2020 – This morning the United Nations Development Programme handed a donation of personal protective equipment to Botswana Prisons Service valued at USD 25,000 to boost Botswana Government’s efforts in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in prisons.
The donation includes among others 11 infra-red non-contact thermometers, 156 disposable gowns, sanitizers and 6158 ready-made N95 masks and materials (fabric, elastics and lining) for production of masks.
When giving her remarks at the handing over ceremony the UNDP Resident Representative, Ms Jacinta Barrins said that, “As UNDP we are delighted to provide personal protective equipment for all 23 Botswana Prisons, covering all 4,158 inmates and 2000 staff.” She commended the Botswana Prisons service for doing well in trying to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 in prisons because the task is a difficult one.
Jacinta added that, “As much as we make sure the rule of law is upheld, we must also make sure that all the rights of inmates are also upheld and that we leave no one behind”. She said that the work of the UN in many countries is to help Governments implement the 17 SDGs and targets. She reiterated that the UNDP is very pleased to work with the Botswana Prisons Service going forward in making sure that, “To the best of our ability all the rights that are afforded to the inmates are upheld” and when they leave the prison they can move back into society and live a normal life.
In the future UNDP will open opportunities on how to work together with Botswana Prisons Service to support both staff and the inmates.
On his part the Commissioner of Prisons, Silas Motlalekgosi said that the Botswana Prisons Service strategy of prevention and containment of COVID-19 is bearing fruits. “We have set up two quarantine centres in Lobatse and Francistown for new arrivals to ensure that no one goes directly to our facilities without going through quarantine,” he elaborated.
He added that they have detected 25 COVID-19 cases in prisoners, 24 in Lobatse and 1 in Francistown at quarantine centres with only 5 active cases. Furthermore, he said that so far 14 officers tested positive and there are also 5 active cases. Silas committed that the Botswana Prisons Service will ensure compliance to the COVID19 protocols to prevent the scourge from entering their facilities.
Note; The Government of Botswana and UNDP is implementing the “Support to the Fulfillment of Human Rights, Access to Justice and Empowerment of Youth and Women Project” (2018-2021) (the Project). The objective of the Project is to provide advisory and technical support to the Government to strengthen and enhance its capacity to respect, protect and fulfil human rights, enhance the accessibility of the justice system and empower youth and women. The expected outcomes of the Project are more effective human rights mechanisms and domestication of human rights and a justice system that fosters inclusive growth and development and provides opportunities for youth and women to participate in this inclusive growth. The Project is guided by the Government’s national development priorities and goals as articulated in Vision 2036, NDP 11, SDGs, United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF) (2017-2021) and the UNDP Country Programme Document (CPD) (2017-2021).
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