Nurses body blasts govt over filling station construction


National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi (Nonm) has threatened to take action if government does not stop construction of a filling station near the entrance of Bwaila Hospital in Lilongwe.
Nonm president, Dorothy Ngoma, said her organisation is concerned about the safety of members of her union who work at the hospital.
“I have never heard anywhere in the world that a sane person or a sane government can allow construction of a filling station 10 metres from a hospital entrance. This is very risky. Are they thinking about the safety of the workers and patients? This is a recipe for disaster,” Ngoma said.
Ngoma said ambulances are struggling to gain access to the hospital following several construction projects just after the gates of the hospital, a development which, she says, is uncalled for.
She said the place belongs to Bwaila Hospital but the hospital and Lilongwe District Council have been tussling with people who are developing structures, one of which is the filling station.
Owner of the filling station, businessperson Abraham Simama, yesterday said he acquired the land from Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in 2011.
“I have my title deed which shows the place belongs to me. Nobody can just wake up in the morning to put a structure in a place where he thinks is illegal. I think the organisation does not know anything,” he said.
Lilongwe District Commissioner, Lawford Palani, confirmed Simama’s position on the issue. He, however, said his office does not know who gave the other developers permission.
A visit by The Sunday Times at the place shows the filing station is about to be opened and that other developers are proceeding with construction.
Ministry of Health has also been expressing concern over the encroachment on their land.

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