On January 20th 2017, the government of Kenya, through Sports Kenya and representatives of seven counties signed a Memorandum of understanding on the construction of stadia which will be completed is set to be completed by August. The 25,000 capacity stadia will be built according to international standards at a cost of Ksh 1.5 billion. One of them is set to be built in Marsabit. Sports Kenya has begun the construction of the second phase of the Marsabit stadium in a bit to raise the sports center to its anticipated international standards. Currently, Kenya’s leading stadia is Moi International Sports Centre at Kasarani and Nyayo National Stadium with capacities of 60,000 and 30,000 respectively. The goal is to increase the number of stadia which will also facilitate for the elevation of quality in sports.
Sports Kenya has commenced the construction of the second phase of the Marsabit stadium. Speaking to Sifa FM, the chief officer from the department of youth, gender and sports, Stephen Sora Katelo argued that the first phase of construction has been done with the county government having spent Ksh 29.5 million to fence the stadium. He also pointed out that the brick fence has heightened the security of the stadium to a whole new level. The Marsabit stadium is among one of the many projects set to be launched in the 2017/2018 financial year as the Jubilee government promised to construct five ultra-modern stadia in different counties as well as renovating the current ones. The national government through Sports Kenya is expected to give a total of Ksh 200 million to fully renovate the Marsabit stadium.
According to Stephen Sora, the launching of the whole project is expected to start in a week’s period as from the 31st of May in Marsabit town. However, he also pointed out that the stadium is expected to be used after 8 months of its official launch by officers from Sports Kenya and the county governor Ukur Yattani. The county government is however expected to add a total of Ksh 50 million to fully implement the agreement. Speaking to Nation Sports on Tuesday 23rd 2017, Marsabit county’s acting chief officer for sports Mary Amina specified an exact amount of Ksh 279 million given by Sports Kenya to construct pitches and a pavilion. Amina said that the county government had allocated another Ksh 77 million which would be for the construction of terraces which is approximated to havea capacity of up to 5,000 people. “The county allocated Ksh 30 million this year while another Ksh 47 million will be catered for in the next budget. The Stadium will accommodate more than 13,000 people with two pavilions accommodating 3,000 people each.” Amina also added that the project would also boost the economy of the county through sports activities while also helping nurture sports talent among local youth based in Marsabit. “When the project is complete, we hope to host national and county sports activities.”
The Stadium will have football, rugby pitches and athletic tracks. The county government also plans to construct basketball and volleyball courts and a swimming pool later on. At the moment, young boys and girls play in the stadium during the weekends when the construction is not ongoing. They play cricket with their improvised kits but the county government has said that it will provide them with proper cricket kits.
The stadium is set to be advantageous to the young anticipating sportsmen. The setting up of the sports facilities will boost talent and encourage a great investment towards sports and the youth in the county. Eventually, this advancement would project to national sports. Currently this would improve towards the reflection of Kenya’s great achievement in football as the country rose in FIFA rankings, holding 78th position worldwide, having rose a massive 10 places in the last one month. The county governor expressed his gratitude to the media houses in the county in the vigorous efforts to take the frontline in education, informing and entertaining the public. The construction of the stadium will also create employment as there will be demand for employing new sports officers as well as technical and professional staff who would work closely with sports federation. Sports Kenya will also partner with the Kenya Academy of sports to ensure that elite sportsmen and women selected into national teams get the right training and exposure so that they do well in international competitions.
Marsabit county is among seven counties in Kenya where the jubilee government had renovated stadia during its reign in power. The agreement highlights the construction and renovation of the stadium. It has then been formally submitted to the county government under governor Ukur Yatteni to manage its development. Ms Mary Amina has also added that the county will bring in national teams like Gor Mahia during its launch in bid to position the stadium on the national stage. “When the project is complete, we hope that we can hold national and county sporting activities because we will have the facilities.”