Construction works at Dandora Stadium have resumed following the intervention of Nairobi City County Governor Johnson Sakaja.
According to Brian Mulama, the Nairobi County Executive Committee member for talent, skills development, and care, under which sports falls, the county has already finalized talks with the contractor, and work on the site has already begun. The new stadium, according to Mulama, is set to be finished and ready for use in less than two months' time.
“As the Governor (Sakaja) had promised, we have agreed with the same contractor who was working on the stadium and the contractor is already on site. This stadium will be done within the next 45 days. The same contractor has also been tasked with building the four other county stadiums in Nairobi that had earlier been planned for construction,” Mulama said in an interview.
“Sport is a key sector and the county government will ensure that we develop the right infrastructure for our youth to develop their talents and skills in sports which is a multi-billion industry globally,” Mulama added.
Construction of the new Dandora stadium stalled in 2019 when the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission moved to probe the alleged procurement irregularities believed to have cost the taxpayers millions of shillings.
Former Governor Mike Sonko’s administration was accused of making Sh196.9 million irregular payments to the contractor and irregular change of the contract name but in 2021, the Senate Labour and Social Welfare committee which was then chaired by Sakaja (then Nairobi Senator) ordered the resumption of work at the stadium.
The Senate resolved to give the county government a go-ahead to complete this stadium, which is 65 percent done.
“The state-of-the-art sports facility will give the youth a chance to nurture their talent and develop sports. The new Dandora Stadium will have notable features like; artificial turf, seats, a gym center, modern stalls, and floodlights,” Dandora Youth Secretary Godfrey Okoti said.
Football stakeholders in Nairobi have lauded the resumption of works in the stadium, noting that this will help teams in Nairobi have access to quality fields to play on in various leagues.
Nairobi-based communication strategist and football stakeholder Kenn Okaka said that completing Dandora stadium will help teams in Eastlands areas where, currently, there are no grounds that can be used by teams to play their league fixtures.
“I really thank Governor Sakaja for honouring his word and ensuring the construction of the new Dandora Stadium resumes. As a football stakeholder, I know this stadium will really help teams because, in the whole of Eastlands, there is no stadium. Teams have to hire Nyayo Stadium, Kasarani, Camp Toyoyo, or the privately owned members' clubs along Thika Road. It is a very dire situation for teams in lower leagues,” Okaka said.
Okaka was one of the first people who mooted the idea of constructing the stadium and floated the idea to the former Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero and his successor, Governor Sonko.
“The construction makes me feel happy for our teams since I was the first person to give the idea to Governor Kidero and when the project was never started by the Kidero regime, I shared the same with Governor Sonko who took it up before it stalled,” Okaka added.
The same contractor on site will also build the four other planned new stadiums, which had been lined up alongside Dandora, which is in Embakasi North Sub County. The other modern sports facilities to be constructed are Bp Riruta Stadium (Dagoreti south), Kihumbuini (Westlands), Woodley (Kibra), and Umeme, Kariokor (Starehe).