1 Water is life, but if it is not clean it can also mean death, or at least all kinds of diseases.
2 Some 80 inmates at Malakal prison, who both bathed and drank raw water from the river next to the penitentiary, know all about it, but thanks to a joint project implemented by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and World Vision, can now consider the skin rashes and dripping episodes in the story.
3 “Now we finally have fresh drinking water at our disposal.
4 It will help us improve our personal hygiene and reduce the risk of contracting diseases from contact with dirty water,” said a grateful 25-year-old inmate as newly installed pipes and a water tank with 20,000 liters of clean, filtered water were handed over.
6 to the prison authorities.
7 While he justifiably appreciated the contribution of the two organizations, the young man could also have thanked himself and some of his friends for spending time behind bars.
8 Supervised by engineering troops serving in the peacekeeping mission, a group of inmates helped excavate and connect pipes through which water flows from a treatment plant to the water tank.
9 “It was really gratifying for us to see how involved both prison leaders and convicts were in the process of making this happen,” said prison officer Ivica Markovic, who serves with UNMISS.
10 An important part of the mandate of the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan is to help build the capacity and infrastructure of all links in the country’s justice system, including prisons.
11 Leda Limann, Head of the Mission Field Office in Malakal, assured those attending the handover ceremony that this kind of support and cooperation with the Upper Nile State government will continue.
12 “I encourage you as prison inmates and professionals to defend the principles of human rights and guarantee the dignity of its inmates.
13 After their reform, they will become free citizens who can contribute to the development of the country, as those who participated in this project have already shown,” she said.