By Okello Jesus Ojara
Gulu—31, July 2021: The Uganda Prisons Service (UPS) has officially extended its partnership with The Edwin Foundation Tea Initiative (EFTOI). The latter party will continue to use the prisons farms earmarked for demonstration and training purposes.
In a letter dated 24 July 2021 and signed by Samuel Baker Emiku, the Accounting Officer Uganda Prisons Service on behalf of the Commissioner General of Prisons, it approved the early request by EFOTI to continue using the farms.
The letter states that “the project is in line with the strategic objectives of the Uganda Prisons of providing skills to inmates and the communities that are next to the prison institutions and the Uganda Prisons commit themselves to provide land and human resource support towards the project”.
Milton Emmy Akwam, the Acting Communication Officer of the Foundation, picked the recommendation on Friday 30 July from UPS Headquarters on behalf of Edwin Atukunda Beekunda, the EFOTI Director.
“The EFOTI is thankful to UPS for extending her use of prisons farms across the country. For over 5 years, EFOTI and UPS have had uninterrupted partnership and we hope this continues,” Akwam says.
“EFOTI and its Director Atukunda have pledged to transform Northern Uganda into a tea hub by 2025. The transformation will see jobs created and improving the livelihoods of people,” he further told this publication.
The Edwin Foundation Tea Initiative has been working with Uganda Prisons Service to promote tea and fruit growing, training inmates on tea and fruits nursery beds establishment and management.
To date, according to Akwam over 50 inmates at Lugore Prisons in Gulu district have been trained, and over 10 prison staff’s capacity enhanced on the same.
The earmarked prisons farms include Lugore in Gulu, Adjumani prison, Kamwenge prison, Kiburara prison, Loro prison farm, and Orum Tikau prison farm.
Two months ago, EFOTI planted its first tea seedlings at 4th Division Barracks in Gulu with over 10 army officers taking part. EFOTI Director and a prominent tea expert, Atukunda took the officers through the technical aspect.