Pris­on­ers run thriv­ing or­ganic farm

It is part of Dubai Po­lice strat­egy to ed­u­cate in­mates and de­velop their skills and ideas

Gulf News - - FRONT PAGE -

Dubai Po­lice strat­egy seeks to ed­u­cate in­mates and de­velop their skills and ideas to in­te­grate them in so­ci­ety when they com­plete jail terms |

An or­ganic farm is hardly what one would ex­pect to see inside a jail. Nev­er­the­less, this is ex­actly what Gulf News came across inside the Dubai Cen­tral Jail in Al Aweer. It’s a con­cept that has been ini­ti­ated and main­tained by jail in­mates as they work en­thu­si­as­ti­cally amid the lush green­ery.

This in­no­va­tive idea is part of a Dubai Po­lice strat­egy to ed­u­cate the in­mates and de­velop their skills and ideas, to in­te­grate them in so­ci­ety when they com­plete their prison sen­tences.

The in­mate be­hind the idea said he couldn’t be­lieve it had been devel­oped into a thriv­ing project inside the jail.

“This is a new revo­lu­tion in self-farm­ing tech­nol­ogy. We used a fish tank linked to an­other tank to col­lect the fish waste which is then fed to the plants. The plants in turn clean up the wa­ter which is the re­cy­cled back to the fish. This tech­nol­ogy is the so­lu­tion to com­bat cli­mate change and ris­ing food prices. It al­lows us to farm af­ford­able or­ganic prod­ucts,” the in­mate said.

The project de­pends on the ‘per­fect cir­cle of life’ to pro­duce or­ganic fer­tiliser. The farm does not need to change the wa­ter as it is pu­ri­fied au­to­mat­i­cally with fil­ters.

Sup­port­ing ideas

On hear­ing his in­no­va­tive idea, Dubai Po­lice pro­vided the in­mate with proper tools and sup­plies to start the or­ganic farm a year ago. They even helped train other in­mates in or­ganic farm­ing tech­niques.

Bri­gadier Ali Al Shamali, Direc­tor of Cor­rec­tional and Puni­tive Es­tab­lish­ments De­part­ment, Dubai Po­lice, said they were keen to give a chance for in­mates to de­velop their ideas and sug­ges­tions on how spend their time in jail.

“We pro­vide any­thing they need to im­ple­ment their projects and sup­port any new idea. Any in­mate can send a re­quest for what he re­quires and what he is will­ing to do and we con­sider it se­ri­ously and im­ple­ment it based on our re­sources,” Bri­gadier Al Shamali said.

Many in­mates par­tic­i­pate in ac­tiv­i­ties such as craft work­shops and sports in the cen­tral jail.

Mean­while, the in­mate be­hind the or­ganic farm thanked Dubai Po­lice for their sup­port.

“There is al­ways a moment in life when you feel it is all light. I want to thank Dubai Po­lice for help­ing me see that,” he said. to

Cour­tesy: Dubai Po­lice

The farm that was con­ceived just a year ago by an in­mate, re­cy­cles wa­ter from a fish tank to nur­ture the plants.

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