Baringo County government has given a contractor five months ultimatum to complete a stalled Sh173 million County Referral Hospital, Kabarnet, modern surgical block.
The four storey building constructed under the Kenya Devolution Support Programme (KDSP) and financed by World Bank (WB) was conceptualised in 2015 but its construction has been taking a snail pace due to myriad of challenges.
County Executive Committee (CEC) for Health Dr Richard Rotich told journalists during a site visit that part of the reason for delays was change of project design which has halted the takeoff.
Dr Rotich stated that the project which is currently 40 per cent complete and is expected to be finalised by February 2022 will greatly alleviate congestion in general wards at the level five hospital facility.
“We have talked with the contractor and he has since promised us that he shall work round the clock to ensure that the remaining part is completed by February next year,” he said.
He said that the improved design will accommodate more rooms like intensive care unit, a theatre, administration block, dialysis centre and recovery rooms unlike the first structural plan which was a surgical block.
Chief Officer for Health David Cherop on his part said that upon completion the over 200 bed capacity unit will reduce patient mortalities by around 50 per cent as modern equipment shall be installed.
Cherop said that the county administration will fully support the contractor to ensure that the project does not stall again.
“We will guarantee sufficient funding even through a supplementary budget to ensure that any variations that will arise from the construction will be taken care of,” the Health CO assured.
The CO added that the County Public Service Board is in the process of employing new personnel who will be able to serve in the new facility upon its completion.
Project’s Manager Ali Noor promised that he is committed to complete it on the specified timeline given that the challenges they had experienced before had been addressed.
He blamed Covid-19 disease among other reasons for the delay because the restrictions of movement had prevented him and his team from running the project smoothly.
By Jebichii Chepkwony