State of Stadia: Kilifi promise that delivered a grazing field
- The recently published Census Report marked out Kilifi as the most populous county in the Coastal region but it is no leader when it comes to sports facilities.
- Kilifi residents' passion has been starved by just one big obstacle –the lack of a standard stadium despite the promises made to them of building an international stadium in the region.
Infrastructure is the backbone of sports and a catalyst for economic development. Kilifi County has shown deep passion for sports yet its brightest stars have inevitably been held back by the lack of a standard stadium in the region.
The recently published Census Report marked out Kilifi as the most populous county in the Coastal region but it is no leader when it comes to sports facilities.
Kilifi residents’ passion has been starved by just one big obstacle –the lack of a standard stadium despite the promises made to them of building an international stadium in the region.
After his first term in office, Governor Amason Jeffah Kingi promised to bury that problem after pledging to implement a proposal by the Kilifi Members of County Assembly to build an ultra-modern stadium.
It brought hope on Kilifi residents but almost three years after he was re-elected, the location where the stadium was to be build- Kilifi Water ground, is now a garbage pit, a grazing field and a bodaboda stop.
Speaking to Citizen Digital Kilifi County Minister for Sports, Culture and Heritage Morine Mwangovya is adamant the stadium project is still on the radar and a whooping Sh500 million will be used in Phase One of the constructions.
“The stadium construction will go on as planned. It’s our biggest project in the region in terms of sports. We are going to use Ksh 500 Million in the first phase and as for now, the structure is almost ready. The tenders shall be gazetted before the contractor kicks-off,” she said
Her words were echoed by the County Sports Director Boniface Kirimi who insisted, the stadia will have all the facilities that will help in nurturing talents, hosting matches both locally and international stadium within the region.
“That is where our main focus is. We want a stadium that IAAF will come and recognize its status. Also the small stadiums across the region will be looked into to make sure they are good playing grounds for our athletes,” he told Citizen Digital.
However, football players and the residents in Kilifi town who spoke to us have believe their leaders have failed them especially in constructing the stadium.
“Our leaders have totally failed us. The promise has been there over and over but nothing changes. We were told it was supposed to be constructed before even the county governments’ came in place, a total of Ksh 22 Million was used to fence it but now the fence is used for charcoal,” bitter residents lamented.
Kakuyuni Ward Member of County Assembly Nixon Mramba also admitted that the stadia construction process has been there long time ago.
“The promise has been there and we had already budgeted for it but at the time its budget was through, there was starvation in some parts of Kilifi like Ganze and as leaders we opted to solve the hunger problem first,” he noted.
Asked whether the construction will start this year, Sports Minister Morine in one word said, “YES.”
A resident living fifty metres from the Kilifi Water Stadium says- “ This field is now a guest house. At night we see a lot happening here that really make us feel sick. You see it’s now a dumping site? “ He asked.
What looked to be a major blow is when Mwangovya- the sports minister said the completion of the multi-million project will depend on the incoming Governor.
“We are going to start but upon it’s completion depends on who is going to take the top seat come 2022.” she added
It rise a question, “does it mean whoever wins the Gubernatorial seat in Kilifi 2022,if they won’t support the project, for how long will the wait for the promised International stadium be?”
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