Murang’a County Assembly has been told that construction of a Kirwara Hospital’s building in Gatanga Sub County stalled due to lack of funds.
The Assembly’s committee on Health Services in its report tabled in the House noted that upgrading of the hospital to Level-4 Health facility stalled five years ago after the county government failed to pay the contractor assigned the project.
The committee was acting on a petition which was presented to the Assembly in June 2018 by residents of Gatanga who demanded to know why construction of the hospital stopped.
In the petition, the residents also requested to be told on the progress for completing the construction of the building and when it would be ready for use.
The new building under construction was meant to improve the health services in the facility by creating more space for better services after its completion.
“As community of Gatanga, we are concerned by the delay in the completion of the building and we want to know reasons as to why the building had stalled and when it would be completed,” read part of the petition.
In the report tabled by Gaturi MCA Cyrus Kiiru Mwangi on behalf of the committee, it was revealed that construction of the building was mooted in 2013 at a cost of Sh80 million.
“The building was to be equipped with facilities of a level 4 hospital including digital x-ray and a modern laboratory. But there was a controversy between the contractor and the county government occasioning stalling of the project,” read part of the report.
The committee found out that the county government only paid Sh26.9 million yet the construction of the building excluding equipment required Sh63.7 million.
From its findings, the committee established that the county government failed to complete the project even after funds were approved in the county budget estimates for department of health in financial year 2017/2018 and 2018/2019.
The MCAs argued that residents of Gatanga were forced to seek specialized treatment to facilities which were far away including Murang’a Level-5 and Thika hospitals.
The committee recommended that the CEC for health in conjunction with department of planning within 14 days should undertake a valuation of the stalled building to determine the cost of the remaining works.
“The county executive member for finance should immediately release Sh30 million to the contractor for completion of the project pending any other contract cost adjustments,” read part of the report.
The Health committee vowed to fast track publication of Murang’a Health Bill so as to solve all other operational problems of the county health sector.
By Bernard Munyao