Nairobi Hospital Calls For Relocation Of Footbridge Near The Hospital Citing It’s Exposing Kenyans To Radioactive Poisoning

A patient walks into the Nairobi hospital during a strike by government doctors to demand the fulfilment of a 2013 agreement between their union and the government that would raise their pay and improve working conditions, in Kenya's capital Nairobi, February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

The Nairobi Hospital now wants the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) to relocate a public footbridge that is currently under construction on Ngong Road on grounds that the pedestrian crossing can expose members of the public to the risk of radiation poisoning.

The footbridge which links the perimeter walls of Nairobi Hospital and Kenyatta Hospital ends at Nairobi Hospital’s Cancer Treatment centre hence the concerns about radioactive exposure.

“We are concerned about the safety of radioactive materials fitted in our Cancer Treatment Centre. Indeed, the hospital has demonstrated that the bridge can be moved several metres lower or higher along the road, reducing the risks cited on its present termination point,” Nairobi Hospital CEO James Nyamongo said in a statement.

“It also exposes our power and oxygen plants to potential terrorist or other criminal attacks.”

According to Nyamongo, Nairobi Hospital has been engaging relevant government officials on the construction of the footbridge since February 2022. The hospital’s efforts led to the temporary suspension of the project but construction resumed recently.

Nyamongo also argues that the government erred by allegedly failing to conduct stakeholder consultations prior to commissioning the footbridge and by purportedly overlooking recommendations lodged by the nuclear regulatory agency pertaining to the said radioactive facility.

The hospital, through its legal advisers, Triple OK Law Advocates, is ready to seek legal redress since its grievances are yet to be addressed by the State.

“The said construction as commenced contrary to the provisions of the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (no. 8 of 1999) for failing to engage in public participation and obtaining the views from stakeholders who are likely to be affected by the project,” the advocates stated in a letter to KURA.

The hospital is demanding that the construction of the footbridge be suspended to allow for inclusive consultations in accordance with the Constitutional requirement of inclusive public participation and stakeholder engagement.

On Thursday, KURA dismissed requests by the Hospital to stop the construction of the footbridge over noise pollution noting that it was a highly important project that could prove vital in curbing deaths attributed to accidents at the said spot.

“Public safety is at the core of our mandate and thus we cannot stop undertaking the footbridge construction which after completion will save lives. The statistics of the pedestrians knocked around KNH are alarming and thus a footbridge is urgently needed to avert more deaths!” read a Tweet by KURA on Thursday.

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