Government promises seven county stadiums by August
Kenya will have seven stadiums of capacities between 15000-25000 in seven different counties by August 2017, according to a memorandum signed between Sports Kenya and the respective counties on Friday.
During a press conference presided over by Sports Kenya Chairman Fred Muteti and attended by representatives of the counties, it was announced the construction work was declared to kick off in two weeks time.
The stadiums in these counties; Marsabit in Marsabit, Ndarugu Karatu in Kiambu, Kirubia in Tharaka Nithi, Kamaring in Elgeyo Marakwet, Ruring’u in Nyeri, Makueni in Makueni and Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Uasin Gishu are the beneficiaries of the the first phase rolled out.
According to Muteti, KSh1b has been allocated for the project in the 2016- 2017 financial year for the work.
A further KSh1b will be disbursed to see the completion of at least field and track in eight months’ time.
“It has been a long journey working with the county governments to find suitable land for the stadiums. The constitution of Kenya and the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act have guided the entire process and have been followed to the letter.
“Today’s ceremony is a milestone in this whole process because it symbolizes the authorization for work to begin in our counties,” Muteti offered.
Sports Kenya will be in charge of the construction work, with the county governments taking over management and maintenance upon completion.
Muteti revealed the criteria used to settle on the seven counties that benefited in the first phase, citing level of cooperation from the county governments as factor.
“We considered clusters as far as regions are concerned. A county like Makueni has not even a simple stadium, so we will start from the scratch. The Makueni one for example, should cater for sporting activities for the people of Taita Taveta before we reach every county.
“The county governments that were quick and cooperated also had an upper hand. Remember land provision for these stadiums is the responsibility of the counties.”
Sports Kenya’s technical staff will be in close check to ensure required standards, adding three more national stadiums are in the pipeline.
Kipchoge Keino Stadium is at a relatively progressed stage, compared to other stadiums.
Muteti said it is being fast tracked to be ready for the Chan 2018, with Kenya set to host the tournament.
Sports Kenya Director Gordon Oluoch called for cooperation from all stakeholders, observing the stadiums will be centres of sports excellence.
His sentiments were echoed by Gatundu Member of Parliament (MP) Moses Kuria who said sports competition among counties will go a notch higher with the construction of the stadiums.
“I want to dare my friends from Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet that we are coming up. I have told the first lady Margaret Kenyatta that come August she has no reason to leave her native county going to train in Iten.
“Ndarugu Kuruta is in an high altitude region so that will be the place to be,” the legislator stated in a light moment.
The stadiums project was among key Jubilee government manifestos during the 2013 General Elections campaign.
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