NAIROBI, July 2 – The government Wednesday warned land grabbers of land belonging to state health facilities that it would soon be repossessed.
Medical Services minister, Anyang’ Nyong’o said the move was part of a five year plan of action to improve medical facilities in the country.
Speaking when he toured various health facilities in Nairobi, Nyong’o singled out a 20- acre piece of land that belonged to pumwani maternity hospital but had been grabbed by private developers.
“We’ve seen, we’ve heard and we will do what we have to do. Those who grabbed land and developed it should know that from today we will all follow the Kenyan laws,” the minister emphasized.
“If it is necessary to bring those buildings down, that will be done to facilitate the construction of a bigger hospital and staff quarters.”
He said the land grabbers would be issued with notices once he was through with touring all the amenities.
“I can’t issue notices now because that would amount to roadside declarations. I have to consult with the ministers for local government, lands, public works as well as the Attorney General,” he said.
“We must get our facts correct because the first thing those people will do is go to court and claim ownership, so how they acquired that ownership must be established,” Nyong’o accentuated.
He said Pumwani maternity hospital which is Kenya’s largest maternity hospital, needed a lot of improvements to cater for the growing needs.
“We need to invest in the hospital to improve maternity services, the children’s ward, to ensure we have more incubators for premature babies, better theatres as well as make sure that the maternity training centre is well developed,” stated the minister.
The maternity hospital, managed by the Nairobi City Council has in the recent past made headlines for all the wrong reasons with reports of new mothers losing their babies in a theft racket as others died at birth due to negligence.
The minister had also toured other parts of the country like Eldoret and Wajir where he reported that the situation was similar.
He gave the example of Eldoret where he said a whole piece of land that belonged to a district hospital had been grabbed.
“Now we can’t do anything on that land because the man claims that it is his. The government must be prepared to take some very painful decisions,” he stated.
Meanwhile the minister said plans were underway to construct four district hospitals in Nairobi.
Nyong’o said a provincial hospital would also be constructed within the capital for proper health delivery systems and to ensure that Kenyatta National hospital, which is the largest referral hospital in East and Central Africaremained as such.
The ministry is now in the process of assessing the existing health amenities, which the minister noted lacked enough facilities to cater for the growing population, to develop a comprehensive budget for developing them.
“It is really painful that the people of Nairobi are suffering, Kenyatta hospital is congested. Nairobi is very important for this nation and we are not going to sacrifice the health of three million people for the sake of a few land grabbers.”
Nyong’o noted that the government had a plan as early as 1987 to build a provincial general hospital in Nairobi but was frustrated by a few individuals who grabbed the land.