NAIROBI, June 20 – Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture, Dr. Hassan Wario has announced the Government will pump in Sh100m (USD 1.015) each to all 47 counties as part of its plan of raising the standards of local stadiums.
Wario clarified, the Sh1.8bn allocated by Treasury in the recent budget for construction of three ultramodern Stadia in Nairobi, Mombasa and Eldoret was meant to kick-start the project as opposed to covering total costs of the facilities as read by his Finance counterpart, Henry Rotich.
According to Wario, the 47 counties will receive funds once the Sports Lottery picks up but said the Sports Kenya Board chaired by Fred Muteti has already come up with the framework.
“We will come up with a design and capacity cost before getting started. Our team from Sport Kenya has done a lot of work; they have visited different fields so it’s time to sketch and hit the ground running because Kenyans want to see the Stadiums coming up.
“So, the Government is aware whatever we were given is money to start us off,” Wario said.
“We want to upgrade the standards of our stadiums not necessarily to be like Old Trafford, but at a level where there is a track, pitch and sitting space. That’s our bigger plan but we will listen to our consultant first because we have not done this since Kasarani was built,” the minister added.
As part of their manifesto, the Jubilee Coalition promised to build five ultramodern Stadiums in Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret and Garissa but the pledge is yet to take off from the ground two years later.
“We have established land in Mombasa, we even had engagement with the land commission and I can assure people things are looking good.
“Garissa has always been our priority and it’s critical to take sports facilities to places like that to counter idle youth who may be engaged in terrorism,” Wario stated.
The country’s only standard stadiums are Moi International Sports Centre and Nyayo National Stadium.
Muteti who was appointed to the job by President, Uhuru Kenyatta in April, last week revealed plans were underway to renovate Nyayo.
Others who serve in the Committee are former Kenya Rugby Union chairman, Mwangi Muthee, Football Kenya Federation Leagues and Competitions chairperson, Doris Petra, Ibrahim Hussein and Isaac Musembi.
The completion of the stadia will come in handy as Kenya plans to host the 2017 IAAF World Youth Championships and 2018 Africa Nations Championships (CHAN).