Blow as Kilifi sports stadium project fails to take off
Exactly two years ago, the then Kilifi County Sports Minister Morine Mwangovya assured the residents that construction of a multi-million project, much awaited county stadium will commence as part of the plans of outgoing Governor Amason Kingi.
However, as stakeholders in the region continue to complain over the delayed commencement of the Sh500 million project, the fate of Kilifi having a stadium now hangs on the edge.
Kilifi County Minister for Sports, Culture and Heritage Dr. Anisa Omar admits that it will be more than impossible for the project to be completed by the time Governor Kingi leaves office in 2022.
Speaking to Citizen Digital, Anisa noted that County government of Kilifi ‘lacks’ funds to start the project as promised.
“We had set aside Sh100 million in 2019 to start (constructing the stadium) but then our girls were dropping out of school because of the early pregnancy, so what is important? We used those funds to fight it. Then the 2020-2021 budget was also reduced and if I can be honest, the 2021-2022 budget has also been cut to half in our department and it will not be realistic to have the project in time,” notes Anisa.
Anisa’s sentiments comes as a blow to the sportsmen and women in the region as they lack a standard sporting facility.
However, Anisa is adamant the stadium project is still on and that the County government is still committed to constructing a modern sports complex.
On the same vein, Anisa noted that the Kilifi County boss has decided to complete the unfinished projects rather than starting a new one as his term comes to an end.
“The County government is willing to do it but the Governor told us he wants to finish the projects he started long time ago. We have a modern hospital complex and a mutli-million project which is incomplete and we want to make sure it is well equipped. Let us not rush to start new projects while we have several still undone. There’s no allocation for the stadium project at the moment,” she added.
Her words were echoed by the County’s Sports Chief Officer Mwenda Karisa who insisted that they need more than one billion shillings to have a FIFA standard stadium – funds that the county cannot manage at the moment.
Mwenda said: “It was not just a football pitch, we wanted a facility where we can host several sporting activities – football, tennis, hockey, volleyball and there you need not less than a billion. We wanted a facility where we can host beach rugby, beach soccer and all that but right now we don’t have the money.”
On his side, Kilifi North Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Chairman Dickson Angore said it will be a major blow to sports in the region. Angore noted that his office has been on the forefront in pushing for the project.
“I have tried in my capacity to push it but our dreams are now shattered, our football boys and girls have been crying for a long time but we still have slim hopes. I hope Governor Amason Kingi will do what it takes to make sure he fulfills his promise,” he said.
The stadium which was set to be constructed at the Kilifi Water Grounds will highlight one of the biggest failures of Governor Kingi’s leadership if it doesn’t go through as earlier planned.
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