Bishop Dieudonne Uringi Uuci of Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo, spent Easter visiting Bunia’s Central Prison, according to a report from Radio Okapi.
He met with the inmates, led prayers and celebrated Easter Mass. He also condemned the deplorable living conditions in the prison.
Bishop Uringi criticised the lack of hygiene – which exposes prisoners to diseases; promiscuity; and the building’s decay. He also expressed concern about food shortages in the prison.
“There is need to improve on the conditions in the prison,” Radio Okapi quoted him as saying. “Some prisoners sleep on the floor or on cardboard boxes that serve as mattresses. When it rains, they are obliged to stand upright because of the rain water that runs through the roof, which has holes. The condition of hygiene is also unbearable.”
The administrator of the prison, Camille Nzuzi, said the facility is not provided with sufficient funds by the government.
“We do not have enough food to feed the prisoners adequately,” Radio Okapi quoted Nzuzi as saying.
He said they are allocated 350 Congolese francs (28p) per prisoner per day, not enough to feed a person.
Most prisons in Congo were constructed in colonial days with capacities to hold about 200 inmates, but most of them now contain more than 400 inmates.
Central Prison has more than 1,100 prisoners, which Radio Okapi said is more than five times its capacity.