Thursday, October 8, 2009
A new £1.3 million prison has opened in the Helmand capital Lashkar Gah giving better security for local people and providing humane conditions for prisoners for the first time.
Until now murderers and Taliban lived cheek by jowl with petty thieves in a high-walled compound with no facilities other than a well. The prison was a no-go area even for the guards who ventured in only once a day to deliver food so in effect prisoners policed themselves.
Enforcing the rule of law is key to ensuring long term stability in Afghanistan. Projects such as the new Lashkar Gah prison are an essential part of the support UK is providing to help the Afghan government take responsibility for the justice system.
The prison was funded by the international Provincial Reconstruction Team in Helmand of which the Department for International Development is a key player. Local government and justice is a key element of the work being done by the PRT helping to improve peoples lives in the war torn province.