Kenya: Governors Blame Delayed Cash for Stalled Projects in Counties

Governors have accused the National Treasury of withholding money meant for counties, hence delaying the completion of development projects.

Council of Governors (CoG) chairman and Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya cited the Sh6 billion teaching and referral hospital in his county that had almost stalled due to lack of funds.

On Monday, Mr Oparanya, after inspecting its progress, said the first phase will be completed by the end of June. He said the contractor had not been paid and thus could not complete the first phase by the end of March as earlier agreed. He said he had put in place a committee to ensure that the facility is completed in time and is adequately equipped. The first phase of the facility is set to cost Sh2.5 billion.

SECOND PHASE

Mr Oparanya said the county intends to borrow Sh2 billion from financial institutions to complete the second phase which will comprise of male and female wards, a school of medicine and a mortuary. The money will also cater for the purchase of medical equipment.

"Once this facility is complete, it will employ more than 3,000 people including doctors, nurses, lab technicians, support staff and other medical experts," he said.

Mr Oparanya said that, during his recent visits to India and America, he signed partnership agreements with medical institutions to second their doctors to the referral hospital. He said 60 doctors will be employed in the initial stages to kick-start operations at the hospital.

Already, the first phase of the doctors' plaza is complete and the county intends to construct three more arcades to house the medics.

TELEMEDICINE SERVICES

"This hospital will be one of the best facilities in the country. It shall incorporate telemedicine services with advanced hospitals across the world. Specialists from top hospitals worldwide will be linked to the facility to offer their expertise through technology," he added.

He said the project will change the face of Kakamega town and cushion patients from travelling Nairobi and Eldoret in the search of specialised treatment. He added that the long-term plan was to turn Kakamega town into a city.

He revealed that his administration was in discussions with national government to upgrade Kakamega airstrip in Shinyalu Sub-county to a mini airport to improve transport.

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