Private developer demolishes health facility

February 5, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 5 – Highridge residents have protested the demolition of Highridge Health Centre in Parklands by a private developer who claimed to have obtained a court order giving him ownership of the piece of land.

According to area residents the developer came with hired men who proceeded to bring down the City Council Health Centre and staff quarters.
They said that the health centre offered cheap services compared to others which were expensive.

“I am two months pregnant and right now I even want to look for my first born’s papers here so that I can get his birth certificate. Now I do not know if that is going to be possible with the destruction of this health centre,” one of the residents stated.

“We are slum residents and this centre was very advantageous to us since its services are very cheap. We do not have the money to go to like the Aghakan hospital or even other private hospitals around here,” another pointed out.

Speaking at the site, Director of City Planning Tom Odongo said the council did not have a hand in the incident and said investigations will take place and appropriate action taken.

“We are back in court to challenge the order which the court issued that these people have ownership rights. You cannot have ownership and we have even investigated and found that the change of user that has been registered against that title was fraudulently obtained. The council never participated in it,” he said.

Acting Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa on his part blamed the police for not doing anything to stop the demolitions.

“We are surprised because more than 100 people came and intruded here and there is a police station here. Where were they (the police) when these people came to destroy this place?” he posed.

Nairobi Medical Officer of Health (NMOH) Robert Ayisi said the demolitions were uncalled for since the institution catered for the needs of the poor.

He stated that the papers by the said developer had a lot of inconsistencies which made the court order null and void.

“The ordinary person uses this place daily and they get services at only Sh20 so we shall make sure that they are not denied of this right. This is a property of the government and there are some people who claim they had bought it but we had no record to show that the council had ever sold this property,” he said.

Speaking at the site of the demolitions, he says medical services will be restored at the medical facility.

“We are going to erect a temporary structure here. We will go through everything and see what we can salvage but this is a very big destruction since this is are expensive equipments which have been destroyed,” he pointed out. “This was a very well stocked facility and definitely what has happened here is in very bad taste.”

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