GAROWE, Somalia July 2, 2013 (Garowe Online)-A 500-bed prison facility in the state capital of Garowe is on the verge of closure as electricity shortage reigns for day-to-day activities according to independent sources, Garowe Online
GO has learned that harsh economic conditions resulted in the suspension of electricity service that was provided with prison by local electric company.
Garowe Prison, pirate complex and one of the largest facilities in the horn of Africa has been grappling with electricity price hike, with management board of the prison preferring generators over Nugal Electric Corporation (NEC)’s electricity consumption.
NEC’s power price regulator reportedly read $400 for each night but Puntland Government failed to pay 30 barrels meant for prison operations per month, sources added.
As part of counter-piracy efforts, UN agencies alongside some European nations with Denmark,Finland, Holland, Norway and the UK at the forefront shouldered inmates’ meal, education and health service expenses while Puntland government is tasked with covering 80% of the electricity consumption and salary of prison guards.
Though Puntland President Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas signed a monthly budget for the facility in Garowe outskirts, sources declined to be named in print disclose that ministry of finance was not ready to respond to dire economic situation in the pirate prison.
The new challenge may lead to the closure of Danish-funded facility and options over return to Garowe Central Prison could be weighed.
On April 7, Briton and Frenchman working for UNODC were gunned down in Galkio airport, impacting anti-piracy activities in the north eastern state.
UNODC in partnership with UN office for project services (UNOPS) on 4th of April handed over the detention facility to Puntland authorities. The prison was aimed at holding inmates convicted of piracy locally and other high-seas crime perpetrators who are serving their sentence out of Somalia.