Bukhungu Stadium to be ready by June ahead of CHAN

Ongoing construction works at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega County. [Nathan Ochunge, Standard]

Construction of the Sh6.6 billion Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega County will be completed in the next four months ahead of the African Nations Championships (CHAN) competitions in September. 

Bukhungu has been selected to host selected CHAN matches. Kenya will cohost CHAN competitions with Tanzania and Uganda this year and AFCON in 2027.   

The national government in partnership with Kakamega county government released Sh790 million two weeks ago to fast-track the construction of  Bukhungu

Speaking during the inspection of the ongoing construction, Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa said in the next three months the works will be completed. 

“Based on the work that is going on this stadium will be ready in three months and the contractors have assured me that in the next two weeks, they will have covered the drainage of the stadium and planting of grass,” said Barasa. 

He said that they will strive to complete the C-Section of the stadium to expand the facility's capacity ahead of the CHAN tournament. 

“We have a completion schedule from our contractor that guarantees a sitting capacity of 25,000 by the time CHAN competitions kick off and we expect officials from CHAN to do the final inspection of the stadium by the end of June,” said Barasa. 

The governor revealed that after the CHAN tournament, they intend to carry out a face-lift to ensure the stadium has a 40,000 sitting capacity. The county had already allocated Sh570 million towards the construction of Bukhungu in the 2023/2024 financial year. 

“After CHAN we are looking forward to the AFCON tournament in 2027 and this comes with infrastructural development and hospitality sectors, we are going to have the Kakamega International Investment Conference in the next three weeks and we will be pitching for investors to put a five-star hotel in the town,” he said. 

On April 16, 2023, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba inspected Bukhungu where he announced that the national government would pump Sh790 into completing the stadium. 

The national government is also expected to release an additional Sh440 million. 

Namwamba said the national government was keen on partnering with county governments to improve the standards of Kenyan stadiums and sports. 

“When we were here with our governor Fernandes Barasa a month ago, we promised we were going to look for resources, we have looked for the resources and we have enough resources for the completion of the Bukhungu International Stadium,” said Namwamba. 

The CS called for the prudent use of the funds to complete the elevation of Bukhungu to international status alongside the Kanduyi Stadium in Bungoma County. 

“These are big projects. We have made it clear that prudent use of these resources is imperative, transparency accountability, and value for money are not negotiable. We want every single cent put to proper use and it can be accounted for in every element,” said Namwamba. 

“My Ministry and my team will be frequently visiting Bukhungu stadium because we have set a target which we have to meet including the timelines as we anticipate both CHAN and AFCON tournaments,” he added.

Phase one of the stadium includes the construction of VIP terraces, changing rooms, conference rooms, referee rooms, and parking spaces with a capacity of 200 vehicles. 

The second phase features the building of terraces on the C-section connecting the main VIP to the rest of the stadium, gym space, and dispensary room. 

The third phase entails the construction of the last arch supporting the terraces that will connect the two C-sections of phases one and two to the entire stadium. 

Namwamba indicated that they are targeting completing phase three which is a C-section with a seating capacity of 10,000.