Sotik GK prison in Bomet county had a successful open day on Thursday 29th September 2016, pitted as well attended by the officer in Charge Mr. Chesang’ Chelimo.

“It was 100% attended and we are happy that inmates were visited by their relatives who seem to have understood that these are people who have reformed and ready to be integrated back to the society once they complete their terms.” He said.

One inmate said that he had learnt his lesson and promised his parents that he will not get into the habit of stealing and selling family tea leaves in the black market that put him at a loggerheads with his parents in the first place and saw being arrested and taken to the prison after the parents decided to take the matter to legal authorities.

During the mid-morning session where the inmates mingled freely with relatives and warders speeches were delivered as well as sermon and all present sharing meals irrespective of each role each played at the prison compound covering 50 acres out of the original 120 acres which had been encroached by private developers.

Apart from the challenge of private developers carving out large parts of the prison land and hiding behind powerful individuals for protection the prison is faced with a massive water shortage and has had unreliable water supply for the last two years which has seen the institution depending on the resources of Bomet county government under arrangement with water boozers from the government for water.

“We also have a huge outstanding power bill of Sh.58, 000 but we are waiting for reimbursement from the prisons headquarters to sort that out.” Mr. Chelimo said. 

On matters of food and firewood he said that the facility was fortunate to have farms to grow some food stuff like maize and sorghum and millet as well as fresh vegetables. 

Mr. Chelimo also pointed out that the local community has good relationship with the institution and among those people who assist in firewood supply was Mr. Richard (Kiplupchan) Salat an MCA aspirant in the next general election in 2017.

The prison also requires more houses to cater for the increasing number of staff which stands at 87 due to the expansion of the facility to accommodate more petty offenders.

“The facility hosts inmates who serve less than one year terms or those who are at the end of long terms but brought near home to acclimatize themselves to locality near home.” Mr. Chelimo said adding that challenges facing the facility are lessening due to the efforts being put in place by the government and prison authorities to make prisons more of correctional facilities and not punishment units as seen by majority members of the public.