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Why building of Sh70m Kisumu hospital stalled

By By Kepher Otieno | June 28th 2012

By Kepher Otieno

Plans to build a Sh70 million ultra-modern eye hospital in Kisumu has hit a snag due to delayed processing of a title deed, The Standard has learnt.

The woes come even after the investors – Lions Club of Kisumu — set aside Sh50 million and were promised another Sh20 million by Lions Club International to start the project.

Investigation by The Standard established the investors have been making unsuccessful follow-ups for the last three years, since the project was proposed.

Kisumu Lions Club Secretary, Shashi Gadhia, said they went public about the project after the municipal council assured them of free land.

This motivated their international counterpart who promised to donate Sh20 million at the start and later give them more money subject to seeing the title deed of the land on which the facility would be built.

But the investors have not received the document even after the civic body showed them a piece of land for the project near Otonglo market, about ten kilometres from Kisumu town.

“Our donors sent representatives and we visited the proposed site and told them the title deed would be processed and issued soon. It is three years now and nothing has happened,” said Gadhia.

He disclosed the Lions Club office has been inundated by calls from leaders asking about the project, some even wondering if it was a mere public gimmick.

“We have the money but there is nothing to make us invest devoid of fear. We may build and get ejected tomorrow,’’ he said.

Gadhia spoke as Kisumu Mayor Sam Okello absolved the authority of blame.  Mr Okello said they had also applied to the Ministry of Lands to process the title deed.

“Even now, the town planner has pitched tent at the Ministry of Lands pursuing the document and others so as to expedite development projects,’’ said Okello.

He implored the investors to bear with them as they had brought the matter to the attention of Lands minister James Orengo.

Currently, Lions Club of Kisumu and the Ministry of Health have put up an eye clinic at the New Nyanza Provincial General Hospital.

This was necessitated by increased cases of cataract related ailments. Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens and is the leading cause of blindness among people older than 55.

Older people have some degree of lens clouding, which is a normal part of aging.  The lens is responsible for focusing light on the retina, and for producing clear, sharp images.

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