The Federal Prisons Administration Commission (FPAC) is in the final stage to complete the construction of a new prison complex with an estimated project cost of 900 million Br from the government coffers.
Located at Aba Samuel River, Aqaqi Qaliti District, the new jail is planned to replace the current Qilinto prison that is more than a decade old. It can house 6,000 inmates.
The new complex has better facilities than the previous one, according to a source close to the case.
Lying on 5,000sqm of land, the construction of the complex began in June 2014, after awarding the project to 13 local contractors.
The then Ministry of Urban Development & Housing (MoUDH) selected the contractors depending on their previous track record in different construction projects.
The Ministry awarded the companies based on a fixed rate system based on the market prices, according to the same source.
The Construction Design Enterprise designed the complex and conducted the preliminary and feasibility study of the project.
The prison site has five blocks of two-storey buildings, with the capacity of accommodating 1,200 prisoners each.
It also has a two-storey building as an isolation room. Each cell can enclose ten detainees in the 54sqm area. A single room can accommodate five double beds.
Work on the prison has reached 95pc of completion rate, expected to be accomplished in the next three months, according to sources.
Currently, security devices including CCTV cameras are installed by the Information Network Security Agency (INSA).
The project encompasses different facilities including a library, game rooms, workshops (metal, wood, and handicraft), administrative buildings, family mansions, video conference rooms, two storey TVET and high school buildings, babysitting rooms and kitchens.
This year, similar prison constructions have been completed at Shoa Robit, Ziway and Dire Dawa. The two prisons in Shoa Robit and Dire Dawa have four blocks each with the capacity of holding 4,800 prisoners whereas the five block buildings of Ziway and Addis Abeba prisons accommodate 6,000 prisoners.
Reta Abebe (Com.), the superintendent to FPAC, refrains from disclosing when the prison will be relocated to the new complex by citing the earliness of the issue.
Currently, FPAC administers three prisons outside Addis Abeba, in Shewa Robit, Amhara Regional State, 225km north of the capital, in Zeway, 163km south of the capital in Oromia Regional State and Dire Dawa city, 515km east of the capital.
Currently, Qilinto prison is found in the vicinity of Addis Ababa Science & Technology University (AASTU).
Qilinto is a remand prison, where people can be held for three years or more as they await trial. The prison is divided into several zones made up of brick walls and corrugated sheet roofed cells.
The prison hosts 3,000 inmates at a time who are held in cells. Each cell holds between 90 and 130 inmates.