Stinking garbage could choke Kisumu’s CHAN bid
The stench from the Kachok Dumpsite could scupper prospects of Kisumu City hosting 2018 CHAN games at the Moi Stadium with residents hoping the second-tier continental event will finally lead to the garbage being removed from the area.
However, politics within the local government have been blamed for the postponement in moving the dumpsite from the city, before and during the tenure of Governor Jack Ranguma.
A hill of garbage at the site is an eyesore to residents and football fans that have to brave the choking stink from the stinking heap that sits adjacent to the Moi Stadium.
The spiritual home of the Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia has left fans and stakeholders divided on whether the stadium should be closed until the dumpsite is relocated as proposed.
Besides football fans, the Kenya Airports Authority is on record complaining the dumpsite is a threat to planes leaving the Kisumu International Airport as it is within their flight path.
Businessmen at the adjacent Nakumatt Mall that borders the garbage fill lament uncontrolled dumping has attracted street families at the site as they rummage through the waste.
Anthony Oballa, General Manager of the Manyatta Youth Resource Centre based in Kisumu is among those lobbying for the stadium to be suspended to incite political leaders into action.
“If a ban is imposed on the stadium to host matches, stakeholders will react differently. The issue of relocating it is at the Governor’s desk after discussions with Football Kenya Federation but nothing appears to be happening.
“Kisumu people love the game; they will want to continue watching the clubs that are playing their Kenya Premier League and National Supper League here. If something is not done, even the CHAN will may not be played here,” opined Oballa.
“Today flies were all over in the stadium. Some people risk their health by climbing atop the garbage to watch the games to evade paying entry fee. The smell is choking; it is embarrassing,” he complained while watching the KPL clash between Gor and Western Stima.
“When it rains the situation gets worse, the garbage is now leaning to the perimeter wall and it could make it collapse anytime. Sometimes when they decide to burn the trash here, you can’t bear the smoke emitted,” he complained further.
A source, who spoke to Citizen Digital on condition of anonymity, blamed some Members of County Assembly in Kisumu who are opposed to the area designated for relocation.
“There is has been an issue of numbers in the County Assembly. Some members are opposed to the Mambo Leo area because they want to put up commercial houses there and thereby, delaying the move,” the informant claimed.
There was another plan to relocate it to the nearby Muhoroni Sub-County as well.
By the time of going to press, efforts to reach Ranguma on the matter were futile.
FKF president Nick Mwendwa expressed optimism the dumpsite relocation and renovation of the stadium will be achieved in due time, challenging the County government to co-operate.
“Our work is to tell the county the requirements and to push them. We have done that already, we have engaged the central government too, and we have told them how the stadium should be to host CHAN.
“We are going to assess the progress in June before concluding whether they are ready to work towards the competition. The Kisumu Stadium issue is quite complicated, the garbage problem and the structures, but we want to measure their willingness to put things in place in the next two months,” concluded Mwendwa, whose has emphasized his commitment to have high profile matches played outside Nairobi.
Locals feel one of the greatest reward to their contribution to the game after producing many local football stars, will be watching CHAN in the stadium, formerly called Kisumu Municipal until the renaming to Moi in 1979 after an official visit by retired President Daniel arap Moi.
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