NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 28 – Slightly over a week before a team from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) arrives in the country for a make-or-break inspection tour ahead of next year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN), work at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos has commenced.
A total of Sh800mn has been splashed to upgrade the stadium put up four years ago for the 2013 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup with Sh50mn from the County Government channeled towards laying of a tartan athletics track.
Sports Kenya boss Fred Muteti and Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua toured the facility on Monday afternoon and told journalists that the 15,000 sitter stadium will be upgraded to international standards.
Just like the Nyayo National Stadium whose works began on Friday, the re-construction of the stadium is expected to take three months.
CAF expects all facilities to be ready by December, exactly a month to the tournament which begins on January 12- February 8 next year.
“As Sports Kenya we are committed and we will put a lot of efforts in building new infrastructure in this county,” said Muteti.
Kenyatta is one of the five stadia being rehabilitated by the government ahead of CHAN. The others are Nyayo, Kasarani, Kinoru in Meru and Kipchonge Keino in Eldoret.
Machakos Governor Mutua has committed to oversee a smooth upgrading on the stadium which was constructed in a record one month prior to the 2013 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.
According to the conditions set by CAF, all the stands will be put down while the changing rooms will be expanded to accommodate four which are a minimum requirement. The playing surface is also set to be scraped off.
“The work of building stadiums is not just a talk, therefore Governor we want to see action,” Muteti told Mutua.
In turn, the County Chief has urged the contractor to ensure that he puts adequate workmanship to ensure the three-month target is achieved.
Meanwhile, he has disclosed that some of the material and grass which will be removed from the stadium will be used to fix other fields in line with his campaign manifesto of setting up a Stadium in each Sub County.
“We are also planning to expand services provided by the stadium by creating pools for other games. We will even put up another stadium in our new city,” hinted Mutua.
Also accompanying the National and County Government officials were members from the Local Organizing Committee led by deputy CEO Herbart Mwachiro.
Kenya is walking on a tight rope in as far as hosting the tournament is concerned with CAF said to be worried that work might not be complete in time.
However, speaking last week, Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa remained confident that the commitment he had seen would convince CAF to let the tournament remain in Kenya.
South Africa and Morocco had been touted as potentials hosts in the event Kenya’s rate of work doesn’t attract double thumbs up from the continental body.