Ruto Walks in Mathare Waters With Promises, NHIF Cancer Refunds


Hello and welcome to the Evening Brief Newsletter we are watching the state grapple with the flooding aftermath.

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Getting Down and Dirty

After weeks of floods affecting Mathare residents and forcing some to spend hours on top of their houses, President William Ruto finally visited the slum to assess the extent of the damage

Dressed in a white T-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, and crus-level black gumboots, the Head of State was seen meandering through the dangerous-by-night corridors with security in tow.

Accompanied by Interior CS Kithure Kindiki, Ruto was in the company of a professionally-clad team he referred to as Wadosi and security personnel dressed in military regalia.

Since his videographer turned the cameras on, Ruto walked for approximately 10 minutes jumping over shallow drainage before taking the microphone and bellowing out promises.

President William Ruto in Mathare


The Promises: First and firm-most, the Head of State promised to give Ksh10,000 to each household evacuated from their homes to safety. It is estimated that 40,000 households were affected.

What He Said: “We have 40,000 households who were evacuated because of their safety, every household will receive Ksh10,000 to look for alternative housing waiting for government intervention. We have a list of those who were evacuated, we will give them money for 3-month rent as the Government looks for another alternative.”

On Schools: The President failed to give a definitive word on when schools will reopen since placing all the plans on ice indefinitely but assured that Ksh1 billion was set aside to help in school repairs.

Affordable Houses: Ruto promised to advertise for the construction of 20,000 affordable houses in the slum neighborhoods of Mathare, Kiamaiko, and Kibra before Friday giving the residents dignified living and job opportunities.

  • “Before Friday, we are going to advertise for the construction of 20,000 housing units From Kibra, here in Kiamaiko to Mwiki so that we can begin the process of making these slum dwellers homeowners in Kenya.”
  • “The houses we are building, you the citizen will be paying Ksh3,000 and live in a house with water supply, power, and washrooms,” the Head of State assured.

Buildings Cap: To ensure the growing city population is housed, Ruto lifted the 12-floor cap on Eastleigh storey buildings, raising that to 30 floors.

  • “Since I am the Commander in Chief, I have said that in Eastleigh, you couldn’t build a house beyond 12 floors but now we can build storey buildings of up to 30 floors so that citizens can get accommodation and live in a harmonious neighbourhood,” he stated.

Catch Up Quick: Ruto’s directive on Eastleigh empowered Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja’s March proposal to review the floor limit for residential buildings within Nairobi County to 75 floors.

At the time, the Nairobi Governor explained that the county was grappling with limited space but the limit would be reviewed depending on the affected estates.

By The Numbers: 229 people have lost their lives since the onset of floods in March this year, 58 of which perished in the Mai Mahiu tragedy. Over 220,000 people have been displaced by the floods.

President William Ruto in Mathare slum.


Easing the Pain

Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) board chairperson Irungu Nyakera has revealed the authority’s plan to reimburse cancer patients with travel expenses.

He noted that a proposal had been fronted giving the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) the powers to process the reimbursements.

What Nyakera is Saying: “Last week we held a stakeholder meeting with AstraZeneca to discuss areas of prospective collaborations and partnerships supporting cancer care. Our takeaways included NHIF to provide patients journey reimbursement for all eligible patients.”

Additionally, the chairperson revealed that AstraZeneca would consider investing in prostate and breast cancer screening platforms in the 47 county referral hospitals.

Further, in collaboration with the multinational, the government will also develop a framework for cancer patients to access drugs at the lowest possible prices with KEMSA expected to facilitate the whole process.

Catch Up Quick: In Kenya, cancer is ranked as the third leading cause of death in statistics provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to WHO, a total of 29,317 people lost their lives to cancer in 2022 in Kenya while 44,726 cases of cancer were reported.

Hefty Bills: According to the National Cancer Control Programme, treating cancer costs between Ksh800,000 and Ksh1.5 million when the operation is needed and between Ksh175,000 and Ksh800,000 when no operation is needed. If overseas consultancy is required, the price is much higher.

Here are five other stories to keep tabs on today;

  • CS Kithure Kindiki announced that the Immigration Department had cleared a backlog of 700,000 passports, now remaining with only 45,000 passports.
  • Kenyan mother Dorothy Kweyu struggles to raise Ksh150 million to save her son from the hangman’s noose in Saudi Arabia. The deadline of May 15 is fast approaching.
  • Residents of Gitwamba Village, which borders the almost overflowing Karimenu Dam, defy the government’s vacate orders waiting for compensation.
  • EACC arraigns in Court company directors and Ol Kalou NG-CDF officials for withdrawing Ksh55.8 million illegally.
  • Former SAS soldier Christian Craighead has criticised the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) for preventing him from publishing a book detailing his involvement in the rescue mission during the DusitD2 terror attack.

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This newsletter was written by Derrick Kubasu and edited by Brian Muuo.

Washington Mito contributed to the content.

Graphics prepared by Kiruti I.


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