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December 19, 2018

Eastlands set for 30,000 cheap houses as Big Four takes shape

A file photo of Nairobi's Eastlands area.
A file photo of Nairobi's Eastlands area.

The government is set to launch a low cost housing project that will see 30,000 houses constructed in Nairobi's Eastlands area, as the ‘Big Four’ agenda takes shape.

It will see 5,000 houses constructed in Shauri Moyo, 20,000 in Makongeni, 3,000 in Starehe and 2,000 in Park Road estates.

Construction will begin in Park Road in three months while Shauri Moyo, Makongeni and Starehe projects will kick off in six months.

The Nairobi regeneration team has given itself six months to finish the project, State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu told a press conference on Monday.

“We've already discussed setting up the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company within the next month but what will define a changing Nairobi will be the groundbreaking for three flagship projects," he said.

Related: Review outdated laws to ease Uhuru's housing promise - new ISK chair

On health, Esipisu said the team has given itself six months to improve Mbagathi and Mama Lucy hospitals by putting up accident and emergency facilities.

The goal is to reduce pressure on Kenyatta National Hospital, which President Uhuru Kenyatta visited incognito and said he was displeased.

Read: Uhuru unhappy after incognito visit to KNH, demands changes

“Most of the pressure that KNH experiences is related to accident and emergency-type issues," Esipisu noted.

Regarding Uhuru's visit to the hospital, he said he ordered the release of 500 patients who had been detained because of payment issues.

“The problem is that all those are related to basic stuff such as broken bones that would be fitted in a normal trauma centre. The President doesn’t want to see those cases being the norm."

The official said the President wants other hospitals equipped with specialised equipment and trained staff to deal with such cases so patients are not referred to KNH.

The team will also oversee the upgrading of Mutuini Hospital to Level Four status as well as that of 10 other high-volume health centres.

Regarding traffic jams in the city, Esipisu said the team will take radical measures to ensure smooth flow.

These include full car-free days for Westlands and the Central Business District, a traffic management committee, the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT), automation of bus termini and improvement of non-motorised travel.

He said the launch of the BRT system will follow the provision of 39 buses and improvement of infrastructure on Waiyaki Way, Lang'ata, Mombasa, Jogoo and Juja Roads.

On the Universal Health Coverage agenda, Esipisu said aggressive steps are being taken to ensure success and that Kisumu, Machakos, Isiolo and Nyeri counties have been identified for a 100 per cent pilot.

“A pilot is important because it allows the government to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of facilities and institutions that are key to delivery, the availability of human resources, logistics matters, and how citizens are responding,” said the Spokesperson.

“At the heart of the programme are citizens. This is about the Kenyan people not the level of government responsible for delivery."

Esipisu said the other 43 counties will also run pilots involving 10,000 citizens each.

Esipisu said  Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki will travel to Cuba this week to conclude agreements critical to the President's agenda to reduce common illnesses such as malaria.

In collaboration with Cuba, the government expects to launch a malaria vector control project in Busia, Kakamega, Bungoma, Siaya, Kisumu, Migori, Homa Bay, Kisii and Nyamira counties this year. Malaria is common in these places.

Cuba will send 100 specialists in the areas of ontology, nephrology and dermatology while Kenya will send 50 doctors to that country for training in these area.

"The Cubans will also be expected to mentor the Kenyan doctors they will work with across the country,” Esipisu said.

Read: Kenya to import 100 doctors from Cuba, each county gets two

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