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Amina defends Kisumu stadium works progress

SPORTS By Kepher Otieno | May 28th 2021

Jomo Kenyata International Stadium on May 26, 2021. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Construction of the Sh498 million Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu is on course, a government official has said.

Netizens created a buzz on social media with claims that the arena did not meet the required standards.

But according to Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, the works at the stadium cannot be completed by June 1 when Madaraka Day celebrations will be held.

She said the construction of game courts and other amenities will continue after the event.

“We initially envisaged to build a 15,000-seater facility but more funds were made available and the works were expanded to accommodate up to 35,000 people,” she said.

The CS noted that the government was satisfied with the work completed so far, adding that the shades were added from the initial eight to 15 on the request of local leaders. The facility has been fenced off.

The CS told critics to appreciate the work done in a record of seven months as was directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“This is the only sports facility built very fast under serious inspection by various national government ministries,” said Mohammed.

The pending works include shipping of a green carpet for the football field and a red carpet for the running track.

The stadium is one of the flagship projects of the national government financed by the Sports Fund, established by the president in 2018.

The stadium will have a basketball pitch, table tennis court, anti-doping room, rugby pitch, and a satellite police station. It will also have 59 washrooms and a parking space for up to 600 cars.

Further, the stadium will have an eight-lane running track and food courtyards will also be erected.

Mohamed urged Kisumu residents to be patient, saying by end of this year, the stadium will be the best in the Western Kenya region.

“It will create multiple wealth and employment opportunities and as well as spur socio-economic and domestic growth for local enterprises when it hosts events,” she said.

The CS was flanked by Public Works PS Gordon Kihalangwa and Sports PS Joe Okudo.

The PSs have pitched tent at the facility to expedite work to beat the fast-approaching deadline.

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