Kenya Lost a Golden Chance to Host CHAN
Kisumu and Mombasa were removed from list of stadiums to host CHAN. Works in the two areas was nearly complete. In Kisumu, Government only needed to partner with the county to assist remove a nearby dump site, renovate the stadium to acceptable sporting standards, do proper lighting and changing rooms and the pitch would be good to go. In Mombasa’s Mbaraki Stadium, work was nearly at 80%.
Kisumu and Mombasa also love football meaning the pitches would be full in every event.
But in the wisdom of Jubilee regime, they removed Kisumu and Mombasa and started constructing afresh new stadiums in Eldoret and Meru.
The problem was, stadium upgrade works in Eldoret and Meru were starting nearly from scratch, and the two venues would not be ready.
If you ask anyone where an athletics stadium should be built, I doubt if Kisumu and Mombasa will feature. Personally I’d vouch for Eldoret, Iten, Nyamira, Nandi, Laikipia etc.
But because some people have a political problem with Kisumu and Mombasa, we lost this golden opportunity. CHAN would have injected billions in our economy. Football tourism is big business.
What’s sad though is that as late as last week, this government believed they were ready to host CHAN and a cabinet sitting set aside Ksh5 billion!
To develop sports in Kenya we need to take advantage of “communitarian values”. Basketball pitches dominate African-American neighborhoods. American Football in white America. Indian neighborhoods have cricket etc.
In Kakamega County, the local government is putting up a new stadia from scratch. This is a huge slap on the face for the Jubilee Govt promised stadiums across the country, which are only available in the portal!
We need to get serious, county governments are investing in facilities which will help address local needs and aspirations.
Our national government must explain to Kenyans how the KShs 4.2 billion recently allocated by the govt for the completion of the stadiums they were working on will be utilized, or else, they will go into pockets of ghost workers, now that the country will not host CHAN next year.