At Luzira Prison, inmates sleep on mattresses which Baine believes do not burn fast in case of a fire outbreak and that is why they are not scared of such an outbreak. This is despite the prison having only three fire extinguishers and no fire fighting vehicles exclusive to the prisons.
Frank Baine, the spokesperson Uganda Prisons says there is no need to carry out fire drills in prison facilities because they do not anticipate any fire outbreak.
At Luzira Prison, inmates sleep on mattresses which Baine believes do not burn fast in case of a fire outbreak and that is why they are not scared of such an outbreak.
This is despite the prison having only three fire extinguishers and no fire fighting vehicles exclusive to the prisons.
//Cue in: Which fire drill do you need....”
Cue out:… very scared about it.”//
At Luzira, particular inmates are allowed to cook for themselves using firewood and candles are used under strict observation.
Baine reveals that other precautionary measures include use of sand bags and water reservoirs. He adds that when fires were rampant around the country, fire extinguishers were bought for Luzira and Jinja prisons and the procurement is still ongoing.
The sand bags are kept in strategic areas with strict access to ensure inmates do not make ropes out of the bags.
He adds that meetings and parade held every Friday involve fire sensitisation given to prison staff and the inmates. As preventive measures, all suspects charged with arson in different parts of the country are being kept under strict observation when taken to prison.
//Cue in: The moment the fire started…”
Cue out:…sensistise the staff about fire.”//
Baine also believes that the lack of gangsters who involve themselves in fights in prisons has also saved the prisons. Luzira, Mbarara and Jinja main prisons, all connected to the National Water line, have water hydrants incase of a fire outbreak.
Baine’s explanation could, however, not be verified since a URN Reporter was denied entrance into Luzira prisons allegedly for security reasons.
Frank Mwanjuzi, a former inmate at Luzira’s Murchison Bay and remand home, says the wards have about 120 inmates each yet the prison blocks and wards have numerous fences.
Mwanjuzi, who is now with Mission after Custody, an organisation helping to rehabilitate former inmates, argues that by the time the wardens get to open and rescue the prisoners, many would have burnt to death.
//Cue in: I was in Murchison Bay…”
Cue out:…it will be terrible.”//
The situation is worse at the Remand Unit which was mainly constructed with iron sheets without ceilings.
uganda prisons spokesperson frank baine
fire drills in uganda prisons
former inmate mwan
mission after custody