State of Stadia: Othaya Stadium and floods are like Siamese twins
When Othaya town was established some 120km north of Kenya’s capital Nairobi, the southern part of the town could have made the perfect site for the drainage system or rather the now connected sewer system serving over 20,000 inhabitants, but alas, this was the perfect spot selected for Othaya Stadium and now continues to siphon more funds as the site is bedeviled by consistent flooding.
Despite Othaya being the home of Kenya’s third president Mwai Kibaki, little effort has been done to improve the welfare of sports with sports enthusiasts suffering major blow in a bid to nurture their talent.
The County Government of Nyeri has spent a paltry Sh2.5 million on the stadium and Othaya Green Santos FC, the main team which uses the stadium for their FKF Sub-County League matches are not impressed.
“This field is a huge disappointment, we pay to play league matches here but when it rains we forget about our home ground and we have to seek assistance elsewhere.
“Currently we are training at Othaya Teachers Collage and they also have their own team so we have to wait until they finish before we can have a chance to use the same, I wonder how we are going to nurture talent here,” Wilfred Nyaga, Othaya Green Santos coach lamented in an interview with Citizen Digital.
Some of the teams in the area have failed to honour their matches due to cash constrains making them not to travel in search of a better ground and Nyaga believes the amount spent by the county government should have made matters easier.
“We are told over two million was spent here but what we can see is a perimeter fence, our main problem is the floods, the stadium can host a variety of sports but we don’t have any leader interested in sports,” grumbled Nyaga.
Some of the casualties of the poor infrastructure in Othaya Town is multiple African walk gold medalist Samuel Gathimba who lives and trains only a couple of kilometers away from the stadium.
“Othaya Stadium is like a swimming pool; it can only be of help during the sunny days but if a proper drainage is installed it can be of help, not all athletes from the area can afford to shift their training but we can only wait until the rainy season ends ,” Gathimba lamented.
County Chief Sports Officer Wachira Ngatia says they are currently working on various stadiums in the county although Othaya is not among those earmarked.
“We agreed before coming up with county sports teams that we first deal with the poor facilities, we have been in Karatina, Ruring’u, Narumoro and Kinunga where currently we are working on a basketball court,” he said.