State of Stadia: Mumboha highlights Vihiga’s shame


State of Stadia: Mumboha highlights Vihiga's shame
Sections of the Mumboha Stadium in Vihiga County. (PHOTO/Francis Onguko)

In Summary

  • Vihiga United is perhaps the only football team that has had a substantial sponsorship agreement with a county government and was long bankrolled by the county coffers before relegation from the Kenyan Premier League (KPL)
  • The current Kenyan women's Premier League champions - the Vihiga Queens - hail from the region yet facilities to develop and nurture these talents are scarce and has no single stadium approved to host KPL matches

Vihiga County quite easily stands out as one of the leading regions in producing talent and the local government has shown significant effort to support sports in the region.

Vihiga United is perhaps the only football team that has had a substantial sponsorship agreement with a county government and was long bankrolled by the county coffers before relegation from the Kenyan Premier League (KPL).

The current Kenyan women’s Premier League champions – the Vihiga Queens – hail from the region yet facilities to develop and nurture these talents are scarce and has no single stadium approved to host KPL matches.

Plenty of talk has revolved around the Mumboha Grounds in discussions where the need to construct a modern stadium have arisen but six years since the piece of land that sits between Mumboha Secondary and Primary Schools in Luanda was earmarked for development, the painful wait goes on.

An apparent disagreement on whether or not to choose a different location seems to have contributed in stalling any sort of progress.

Residents have poked small entrances into the temporary fence that surrounds the venue, more than anything, is just an extensive stretch of land which resembles nothing like a stadium.

Mumboha is famous for hosting not only sporting activities but also cultural festivals together with political rallies. Until 2016 it was merely a primary school playing field with rugged patches before Luanda Member of Parliament Chris Omulele set out plans to upgrade it.

At a school function, Omulele revealed Sh100m was needed for the renovation works before it was later agreed a new facility be built on the piece of land on which Mumboha Secondary School is located owing to space concerns.

Luanda Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has since then laid a foundation for the proposed Mumboha secondary storey building and constructions on site are ongoing.

At the playground, Luanda CDF has leveled the ground, planted grass and enclosed the football area with a square wire mesh supported by concrete poles.

During the launch of the pavilion area that stands opposite each other and five metallic benches which cost the county Sh10m, Governor Dr Wilbur Otichilo said the stadium would have also changing rooms.

Kelvin Mwangu, the outgoing Secretary General FKF Western Branch has criticised leadership in the western region for affording only three fields that can host KPL matches; Bukhungu Stadium, Sudi Stadium and Mumias Sports complex.

Mwangu says in a typical stadium, the playing ground should be 110m by 90m, surrounded by six running tracks for athletics, perimeter wall for shielding fans from ‘invading’ the pitch, stands for fans, VIP lounge changing rooms with showers for home and away teams.

No facility in Vihiga County adheres to those standards.

In a recent interview, Vihiga County deputy governor Dr Patrick Saisi, who is currently acting CeCM sports revealed that he has formed technical task force to probe works not only done at Mumboha Sports ground but also Kidundu and Hamisi stadium vis-a-vis the proposed bill of quantities for the facilities before coming public on how much has been spent so far by the County government over the projects.

However, Dr Saisi is yet to give the timeline in which Vihigans, moreso sportsmen should wait for his technical team to release report findings and recommendations.

As the construction of the new Mumboha storey secondary school continues residents will be waiting to see whether Mumboha playing ground will ever have a facelift meeting the FKF and FIFA standards

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Story By Francis Onguko
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