Residents of Rukenya in Gichugu Constituency in Kirinyaga County will get a new medical centre following a directive by President William Ruto.
While commissioning the newly constructed Thiba Dam, the President announced that the living quarters that were being used by the personnel during the construction of the dam shall not be demolished but converted into a medical center to benefit the residents living within the vicinity of the dam.
He further noted that the national government will disburse Sh50 million to the county government to facilitate the project.
“We have agreed with the contractor and the County Governor that those buildings that were being used by the project staff will be converted into a hospital. We will work together with the county government to ensure the success of this initiative by injecting Sh50 million into the venture,” President Ruto said.
Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru and Gichugu Member of Parliament Gichimu Githinji had requested the head of state to consider having a hospital within the area to cater for the health hazards that come with the water in the dam.
The county leaders said the water meant for irrigation in the Mwea Tebere rice scheme is a breeding ground for organisms such as mosquitoes that cause various diseases.
“The ecosystem of this area has changed due to water in the dam. There are many disease-causing organisms and it is our request that the national government can assist us in constructing a health center here,” Waiguru said
“We don’t have a hospital with the nearest being about 5km away; if we can get one we will be happy as residents of Gichugu and Kirinyaga at large,” Gichimu said.
The president said the presence of the dam should not solve the problem of providing water for irrigation while at the same time causing another which threatens the lives of the people living around the dam.
“We want this dam to be beneficial to all people and therefore it’s our duty to ensure the safety of the people living around the dam,” Ruto reiterated.
Residents appreciated the move by both National and County governments to set up the facility saying they have been travelling over 5km to the nearest health center in Kianyaga Town.
Anne Njeri, a resident of Thiba Dam, said their leaders have spoken for them and hope the county government will fast-track the process.
“Today our leaders have spoken for us. We hope they will implement the proposal with speed because the nearest facility we have is Kianyaga about 5 km from here,’ Njeri said.
Dickson Muriuki, another resident, said the hospital will go a long way in benefiting the constituents and other people who may be visiting Kirinyaga in the future.
“The hospital will be of great help to not only the people of Gichugu but the whole Kirinyaga County and other people who may be visiting this area,” Muriuki said.
By Mutai Kipngetich