The Sierra Leone Correctional Service (SLCS) stated in 2020 they will undertake rice and cassava farming to help complement Government efforts in feeding inmates by cultivating 260 acres at Mafanta and Gbenderu. Deputy Director General, Dennis Harman said that this will be achieved through a Public Private Partnership with SIMIRIA Agricultural Development Organization (SADO). In addition, 82 acres of land was cultivated at Mafanta as follows, 40 acres Boliland Rice; 12 acres Inland Valley Rice; 20 acres cassava and 10 acres sorghum, 10 acres maize. The Correctional Farm at Gbenderu, Kenema District, he said has also cultivated 2 acres of cassava. The SLCS received support from UNDP in the form of farming tools and equipment to extend agricultural activities to Moyamba, Mafanta, Gbenderu, Port Loko and Kabala where sizeable portions of land have been acquired. Harman said, “The Service will establish a Correctional Industry Scheme through which we will be providing goods and services by using the available resources in both human and materials by working with private entities and communities.”
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However, a Correctional Industries and Agricultural Company has been established, a bank account opened at the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank and activities to attract marketing is in place. Already some schools have contracted the Service to provide school uniforms and Makeni and Mafanta Correctional Centres have entered into partnership with Lion Poultry Limited to establish a poultry farm. From the sources, the SLCS has paid Le15 million into the Consolidated Revenue Fund. In 2020, they will construct two Correctional Centres in Falaba and Karene Districts as 40-acres of land have been secured at Kamakwei and a 50-acre plot at Mongo Bendugu for the construction of Correctional Centres and the establishment of Correctional Farms. They have requested for funding for the construction of both Correctional Centres, which has been submitted to the Ministry of Finance. A North West Regional Command in Port Loko has been established and it is in full operations. A private residence is being used as office space and already land has been identified for the construction of an office and accommodation for the Regional Commander. The Deputy Director General noted that they had planned to construct two Correctional Primary Schools in Makeni and Bo districts with project documents prepared and submitted but they are yet to secure a funding partner. “This activity has been shelved and replaced with training of our inmates by tertiary education institutions,” he said.
By Zainab Iyamide Joaque
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