PASTORALIST PRIORITIES

Ditch housing and build cancer centres, says MP

The housing project is part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda

In Summary

• Turkanas practise pastoralism, so the housing project will not be practical for them

Turkana South MP James Lomenen addresses residents in Turkana South
CANCER Turkana South MP James Lomenen addresses residents in Turkana South
Image: HESBORN ETYANG

Turkana South MP James Lomenen has urged the government to redirect funds meant for housing projects to cancer centres to save lives.

Speaking at Katilu AIC church, Turkana South, Lomenen said the grievances of Kenyans should be prioritised in service delivery.

"Turkana has a history of poverty, hunger and drought,” the lawmaker said.

 

"The government should leave the agenda of constructing houses and instead come up with an idea of building centres in every county, where screening of cancer will be done for early treatment."

 

He said the housing project will not help poor Turkanas, who struggle with hunger and drought, to get a meal a day, but a cancer centre would be good for their health.

"Turkana practises pastoralism, where our people move from one place to another in search of water and greener pastures. Therefore, the housing project will not work out. They are used to their Manyattas. Just build cancer health centres to support them," Lomenen said.

The MP said a cancer centre in Turkana would spare residents the hassle of travelling from Turkana to Eldoret for medication. Insecurity also hampers their access to treatment, he said. 

The project, which is part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda, is expected to deliver one million housing units in the next five years to plug the gap estimated at 1.8 million units.

The project of housing is, however, facing headwinds after the High Court in December suspended implementation of the 1.5 per cent levy that was to be charged on workers’ monthly pay to create a housing fund.

A total of 800,000 houses are expected to be built under the public-private partnership model, and 200,000 will be put up under a social scheme.

Edited by T. Jalio