PUBLIC FACILITY AT RISK

CSOs want demolished Kongowea dispensary wall rebuilt

But county government says there is dispute over ownership of the land and matter is in court.

In Summary
  • A lorry was reversing to park in the dispensary compound when it knocked down part of the wall on April 26.
  • Coast Civil Society Organisations Network said the dispensary is now being vandalised.
Coast civil society members inspect Kongowea dispensary on Thursday
Coast civil society members inspect Kongowea dispensary on Thursday
Image: RUTH AURA

The Mombasa county government is yet to repair the wall of Kongowea dispensary nearly two weeks after it was demolished by a truck.

The lorry was reversing to park in the dispensary’s compound when it knocked down part of the wall, leaving staff and patients exposed.

The incident happened on April 26.

The Coast Civil Society Organisations Network said the dispensary is now being vandalised.

Zedekiah Adika, the chairperson of the network, said it was not clear yet who allowed the lorry into the compound.

The matter has been reported to the government but no action has been taken.

“We are here to know the status of the facility and we view the vandalisation as a reflection of the rot in the county government,” Adika said.

He said previously the CSOs sent a report about the status of the hospital to the county government but nothing was done.

However, Mombasa county public health communication officer Richard Chacha said the perimeter wall cannot be built because there is dispute over ownership of the land and the matter is in court.

“The county government cannot put up the perimeter wall because we have several people who are claiming ownership of the land. The court ordered the place to remain the way it is until the matter is solved and that is why people get access by using the space as a parking area,” he said.

Adika said they would like to know who has the title deed of the facility and in whose name it is registered.

“We also want to know how it was demarcated because the facility shares a wall with a private entity, which is improper,” he said.

He said the health centre, which has a capacity of 2,000 patients, has an incomplete perimeter wall despite funds being allocated to it.

“We understand that this facility serves 1,000 to 2,000 people a day. However, it has the ability to serve more patients because there are services which are not being provided here like maternity services yet it is a Level 2 hospital,” he said.

Adika said the use of the hospital compound as a parking area remains a concern, with questions on who collects the parking fee and whether the same reaches the county kitty.

“The facility can be expanded if we focus on it as a health centre and not a parking place. The vehicles parking here should be given space elsewhere. Instances that compromise the health of the patients are what we fear most,” he said.

He civil society intends to work with the county government, Ministry of Health, and the National Land Commission to secure a title deed of the dispensary.

The CSOs are also demanding urgent construction of a perimeter wall around the facility.

“Urgent measures should be taken to enhance privacy and serenity of the environment because we don’t want to expose residents of Mombasa. We are calling upon the political players especially from the governor to the members of the county assembly to ensure that action is done here as fast as possible,” he said.

They issued a 14-day ultimatum to the county government to respond.

 “The political season is here and we do not want people to leave the focus of provision of services for their political reasons. Whoever is in office for the purposes of providing services to people must continue providing those services until their term expires,” Adika said.

Marylyn Laini said the hospital serves a huge population of women who bring their children and come to seek antenatal services.

“This is not a safe place for pregnant mothers and those who come here with their children. The wall was demolished and yet the services go on as usual. This is too dangerous because this is the only nearest health facility around Kongowea,” she said.

Edited by Henry Makori