THERE was jubilation when the Mufulira My Home Town (MHHT) Association donated hygiene products and two electrical stoves to the Mufulira Correctional Facility before and disinfecting the entire facility to curb the spread of the COVID19 and other infectious diseases among inmates.
The MHHT has plans to further engage the facility in areas of improving the plight of inmates.
MHHT vice-chairperson Emmanuel Mbashi said his association has set aside an ambitious agenda for this year to ensure that challenges facing inmates such as inadequate mattresses, cooking units, hygiene sanitary products forwomen were addressed.
"These are urgent concerns needing immediate address because the inmates are our brothers, children and mothers. With limited sources from voluntary member's contributions, we decided to first procure two stoves, one for the male kitchen and the other for the female kitchen," he said.
Mr Mbashi said the association had procured sanitary products for female inmates to last up to the end of the year.
He said plans were underway to procure mattresses for the entire correctional facility.
"We plan to conduct more COVID-19 disinfection exercisers in congested police cells and at the intercity bus station in Mufulira. We also have a plan to drum up public awareness workshops on sexual, reproductive health and family planning to the most vulnerable communities in Mufulira. We intend to also distribute hygiene productsto girls in schools," he said.
Mr Mbashi said his association has already planned to train qualifiedvolunteer members with his outfit to conduct outreach workshops onissues relating to child marriage and early pregnancies in a bid to complement Government's efforts to mitigate the scourge.
He said his association was steadfast in contributing to meaningful change in lives of the most needy in communities.
The association has donated sanitary pads to over 150 school girls at Minambe, Luansobe and Murundu community schools under the flagshipproject called Go-Girl-Go.
"Our association donated face masks, soaps buckets and other hygiene products to Kamuchanga Hospital and the Old People's Home in Chibolya," opined Mr Mbashi.
He stressed that the MHHT was upbeat to contributing to meaningful change in lives of the neediest people in communities of Mufulira, making the mining town a better place to live and do business.
Mr Mbashi also announced that future plans by MHHT will revolve around implementing a programme to provide mattresses and blankets to inmates.
"We plan to conduct more COVID-19 disinfection exercise in congested police cells and at the intercity bus station in Mufulira, we also plan to conduct public awareness workshops on sexual, reproductive health and family planning to the most vulnerable communities in Mufulira and also further distribute hygiene sanitary products to girls in schools during such workshops," he further quipped.
Mufulira District Commissioner Mike Manda said the gesture by MHHT demonstrated an infectious approach to issues affecting society, urging others to emulate the MHHT by complementing Government's strides to improve the welfare of those that need the most in society.
Mr Manda underscored the importance of stakeholders to team up in facilitating programmes that add value to society, adding that Government on its own was unable to respond to all challenges facing members of society hence the need to promote public private partnerships.
"The MHHT has been doing similar projects aimed at serving the interest of society for some time now and this is the spirit which should culminate into an infectious agenda to improve lives of people," he opined.
Mufulira Correctional Facility Officer in Charge (OIC) Superintendant Felix Mulenga said 2021 has started with its own challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak, adding that the inmates have been looking forward to see the MHHT team share with them love, care and support for them.
Superintendant Mulenga observed that words could not despite the importance of the donations presented to the facility by the MHHT team.
As the OIC received the donations on behalf of the inmates, glowing smiles of appreciation beamed on faces of the recipients, culminating the Women Eagles choir (spouses of prison warders), flanked by a choir of inmates known as the Mufulira Correctional Flavour, glorifying the Lord through song and dance.
The inmates were informed that they were part of society despite being confined in the facility and that the MHHT team shared their plight.