City Hall revives construction of Sh1.1 billion Mama Lucy Kibaki hospital block

Part of the block at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital which had stalled due to under funding by the National government.

The county government has revived construction of a Sh1.1 billion block at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital.

The building, which was meant to ease congestion at the facility, had stalled for two years due to lack of funding from the national government.  

The six-storey block has a capacity for 700 beds, including 30 rooms the intensive care and high dependency units.

Acting Health Executive Vesca Kangogo yesterday said construction of the building began in 2013 but stalled in 2016 due to under-funding by the Ministry of Health.

Ms Kangogo said Sh69 million had been spent on the project's first phase, which stalled when the building was 85 per cent complete. Some Sh141 million had been set aside to complete the block.

“We are looking to complete one wing in 90 days because there is a lot of pressure on the hospital. This will ensure that Nairobi residents get quality healthcare,” she said, adding that Sh72 million had been allocated for the works.

The wing will accommodate 72 beds and will consist of general wards as well as maternity, intensive care and high dependency units. 

Kangogo said construction stalled in the confusion that arose over whether the local or national governments would continue funding the project after the advent of devolution.

“The stalling was caused by problems that came with transition. Health was devolved to the county level and there were a lot of problems, especially for projects that had been started by the national government," said the acting health boss during a site visit at the hospital.

She was accompanied by Public Works Secretary and Project Manager Alphonse Okweto.

Mr Okweto blamed the two levels of government for the construction hitch, noting that they had both expressed interest in retaining the project.

“At the time there were competing interests. It was understood that this project was important but not that urgent because there were other things we had to do first,” he said.

Hospital Superintendent Musa Mohammed revealed that the facility attended to between 1,000 and 1,200 patients daily.