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Puzzle of Sh8.4m health facility converted into chicken breeding house

By Julius Chepkwony | May 22nd 2020

A health facility constructed at a cost of Sh8.4 million to help residents of Barut, Mwariki area in Nakuru Town West Sub-county, has been converted to a chicken breeding house.

The facility, which was to have a reception, treatment room and a maternity ward was initially conceived by the Nakuru Town West Constituency Development Fund in the financial year 2013/2014, with a first allocation of Sh3 million.

According to Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama, the project was handed over to the county government in 2015 after the national government devolved health functions.

“We handed over the project to the county during the leadership of first governor Kinuthia Mbugua. I was shocked when I heard someone converted it to a poultry house and farmed on a section of the land,” said Mr Arama.

When The Standard visited the facility on Tuesday, it was evident that someone had converted the health centre into a thriving chicken breeding house. There were at least 200 birds in the compound.

The rest of the one-acre has been converted to a vegetable garden.

Ndege Nathan, who introduced himself as the brother to Geoffrey Nyagiro, who has leased the property, said the county government was aware of their presence and activities at the facility.

“We have been operating from this place for four years now and yes, the county government is aware of our presence and allowed us to operate from here,” said Mr Ndege.

David Kahoro said locals were demanding that the facility serves its purpose. He said the man at the facility had been asked to leave but he declined.

County Chief Officer in charge of Health Samuel King’ori said he was not aware of the existence of the health facility.

“Thanks, (I) will follow up and act if it’s true,” he said upon our inquiry in a telephone interview.

Documents from the county treasury show the facility was allocated Sh3 million in the financial year 2018/2019 for construction of a septic tank, piping, toilet, laboratory and fencing. Another Sh2.4 million was also allocated to equip Barut maternity.

It was not clear from the records whether the funds were used for the maternity or reallocated. Arama said it was wrong for the county government to abandon the project and promised to follow up the issue with Governor Lee Kinyanjui.

“When the proposal was made to CDF-NG committee then, that facility was key to access to healthcare services for the people in the area. I will follow up on the matter,” he said.

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