NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 5- The Nyayo National Stadium and two others which were under rehabilitation on the African Nations Championship (CHAN) hosting schedule will be open for use by the first week of April, Sports Principal Secretary Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia has assured.
This is four months after the initial completion date.
Kaberia who led an inspection tour of the Nyayo Stadium on Friday afternoon has admitted that some momentum was lost after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) stripped Kenya of the hosting rights for CHAN 2018, also apportioning some of the blame on the long electioneering period.
“The contractors complained that some time they did not get people to work here because of the electioneering period and that caused the delay. In terms of payments, there might have been a delay of about three weeks but it was because of the processes,” Kaberia said.
He added; “I have however talked to the contractors and in the next three weeks the parking lot will be completed, and by the last week of March, they should give me the keys to this place,” the PS added.
The Chief Contractor Chandresh Babariya from Lexis International admitted that a shortage of groundsmen was a huge contributing factor to the slowing down of the work, but insists they will be on time to meet the end of March deadline.
“It was very tough because at some point out of over 150 workers, we could get 20 or 25 workers. Also, the rains that came in September were a huge contributing factor. Another thing that slowed down the work was the black cotton soil at the parking lot and on the ground. But we are optimistic we can meet the target,” Babariya said.
The stadium is undergoing an almost complete overhaul with Lexis International dealing with the construction work while French company Gregori International proposed by CAF will be in charge of the playing surface.
The constructor’s work entails building a new VIP complex which will include increased office space and improved seating area. They will also be constructing new changing rooms as well as rest rooms.
A different company has been sub-contracted to work on the seats, floodlights, gates and ticketing. Gregori International will, after most of the construction is done start working on the pitch.
They will install a new drainage system and lay out new grass by the beginning of March, meaning in one month the stadium will be ready to host its first match since the Mashemeji Derby last year.
The other two stadia which are being rehabilitated are the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eloret and Kinoru Stadium in Meru.