The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Austin Demby, says government through his ministry is disbursing the sum of Le420 million Leones to 28 tenants in the Lumley community as support, to move away from the government land around the hospital premises. At a disbursement meeting in the conference room of the ministry yesterday Tuesday 7th September 2021, they were told to leave the occupied government land within one week ahead of active construction work on the property.

Health and Sanitation Minister, Demby says government’s decision was reached on the basis of humanitarian supports to the tenants especially when it is about the general good of the country and for residents in that part of the capital. He said Lumley is a growing community that is expanding so government is thinking always ahead with the population needs in the area of education, and health service delivery.

The land he said will be utilized by government for the construction of a state of the art 250 beds paediatric teaching hospital, which according to him, is going to be constructed by the Japanese government through the JICA project. He says earthwork and other clearing exercise on the land will start on 15th September 2021, but noted, active construction work by the Japanese will start first week in October, with the expectation of completion in one year six months.

The minister says the land on which tenants and other individuals had constructed properties belongs to government which according to him, had been verified. He however cautioned, claimants to the properties that they are welcome to challenge the issue. He says they had consulted and verified all the properties with stakeholders and land ministry officials, but those that were paid are making the greatest sacrifices all in the name of development and patriotism.

Alhaji Mansaray, one of the beneficiaries of the Le15 million Leones pay out, says he had resided on the land for 20 years on a two rooms apartment constructed by his uncle on the said piece of land. He expressed concerns about the time given to them by government to vacate the land as too short especially to find a new place.

Mohamed Sonnie, says he had lived in that community for the past 6 years and he has been paying Le5 million per year but with the support from government they will use it to find a convenient place for now. He bemoaned the time given to them by government to vacate the land as too short.

A Health Sister, Esther Sia Musa, says it is frustrating moving from a place they had resided for that long especially under emergency, taking into consideration they had to lookout for new schools for their children now that schools are open. She says despite that, they are moving out in the name of development which government will soon embark on, saying they appreciate the fact that they are moving out to give way to health development that will help save lives of children.