JUMLA, Jan 2: Jumla prison which is considered an exemplary prison in Province 6 is dealing with an acute shortage of drinking water. As a result the inmates, security personnel and officials of the prison are compelled to rely on the contaminated water of the Tila River. As a result, they are suffering from water-borne diseases.
Hasta Bahadur Rokaya, health assistant at the prison, said that this has given rise to tonsillitis, stone and skin related diseases. "We know the water is adulterated but still we have no other option than drinking the same water," said Rokaya. The jail administration has knocked the doors of the Building Division Office (BDO), Drinking Water and Cleanliness Office (DWCO) among others requesting for clean drinking water. But nothing has been done yet.
The water of Tila River is collected through generator at night which freezes till morning. This is further adding to the woes of the inmates and officials. The sewage from the houses of the district headquarters Khalanga is released in Tila resulting in a further mess.
Officers of the jail administration lament that the Chief District Officer (CDO) has neglected their repeated pleas. There are altogether 46 inmates in Jumla including 42 males and 4 females. Day by day, their health is deteriorating but no one seems to be concerned. "It is hard to find a jail bird who is not suffering from one or the other problem.
We might die soon if we continue to drink the same water," said Samir Bohora, one of the inmates, adding, "Fever, common cold, diarrhea and headache are very common."
Fed up with the negligence of the authorities concerned, the inmates have warned of staging protests if their problem is not addressed within a week. "Living in jail would have been less of a challenge if we were only provided clean water,' said Bohora.
According to Bishnu Poudel, Chief District Officer, lack of planning and management before the construction of the jail has caused this problem. "This actually is the mistake made while designing the prison," Poudel said. He informed that he will make efforts to solve this problem. Until then, the inmates have demanded the administration to provide measures to purify and clean the water.