Governor Barasa embarks on completion of stalled hospital, stadium

The stalled Kakamega Level Six Teaching and Referral Hospital located in Kakamega County. [Benard Lusigi, Standard]

Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa plans to complete stalled flagship projects that were started by his predecessor Wycliffe Oparanya.

Mr Barasa noted that at least Sh5.5 bilion is required to complete the Kakamega County Teaching and Referral Hospital (Level Six) and Bukhungu International Stadium.

The governor said he has engaged the Apollo Hospital from India to complete the level six referral hospital through public-private partnership.

In the first phase, construction of the multi-billion health facility was to cost Sh4.5 billion but so far, Sh2.5 billion has been used and another Sh2 billion is required to equip it.

However, the project stalled two years ago after the contractor, China Railway Jiangsu Engineering (East Africa), abandoned it in February 2020 over unpaid dues.

The 750 bed capacity hospital that was to be constructed in three phases stalled at phase one.

The governor wants to explore means of getting Sh5.5 billion to complete the hospital and the stadium before initiating new projects.

He noted that Sh2.5 billion will go towards completion of phase one of the referral hospital and Sh3 billion on phase three of Bukhungu stadium.

"The two projects have consumed billions of taxpayers money and to complete phase one of the hospital and three of the stadium i need Sh5.5 bilion which we don't have. We are in talks with the Apollo Hospital in India to fast track completion of the hospital," said Barasa 

"Our citizens must enjoy the use of their money and that is why all the mega projects initiated by my predecessor will be completed to benefit our people," he added.

The governor said the level six hospital will be a game changer in creation of jobs and provision of affordable quality healthcare.

"The hospital has the potential to employ 5,000 people and this is what we are looking up to in order to have enough job opportunities for our people besides being used by medical students from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology for their practical lessons and research,” he said.

In the proposed budget of the 2023/2024 financial year, the Ministry of Health Services has been allocated Sh4.9 billion with a huge chunk of the money going towards completion of stalled health facilities with the level six facility being given first priority.

In the budget estimates, Sh1.3 billion has been allocated to Social Services, Youth and Sports with a larger part going towards completion of Bukhungu International Stadium.

However, last year during President William Ruto's tour to Kakamega, he promised to allocate Sh3 billion towards completion and equipping phase one of the referral hospital.