Embu gets facelift ahead of Madaraka Day fete

Embu Stadium

Embu Stadium which is being renovated ahead of Madaraka Day Celebrations.

Photo credit: George Munene I Nation Media Group

Embu County has had major infrastructural development ahead of the Madaraka Day celebrations.

The government is spending millions of shillings on the celebrations.

All roads in Embu town are being upgraded to all-weather status and street lights installed, while Embu stadium, where President William Ruto will preside over the celebrations, is being renovated  at a cost of Sh450 million.

Some 400 street lights are being put up along the Embu-Meru highway to light up the town that used to be the headquarters of Eastern Province during the Kanu era.

The stadium, which has been an eyesore, is located in Embu town and will be  completed soon in readiness for the national fete on June 1.

According to Embu County Lands executive Raymond Kinyua, the stadium can host 15,000 people.

Mr Kinyua, the co-chair of the Madaraka Day Celebrations Technical Committee, said the contractor is working day and night to ensure the renovations are completed on time.

This project involves the construction of a standard pitch, race tracks, terraces, recreation facilities, dressing rooms, ablution blocks and a conference hall.

The Embu airstrip is being improved to give the Head of State a safe landing when he arrives to address the nation.

Roads leading to the airstrip are also being improved.

At least 42 kilometre of roads in and around Embu town are being upgraded to all-weather status. 

Just two kilometres from the celebrations venue, the regional commissioner's residence is being upgraded to a mini state lodge. The President and his guests will be served breakfast and lunch there. It is being spruced up under the supervision of officials from the Ministry of Interior. 

All the projects are being carried out simultaneously.

The drainage is also being improved.

A survey by the Nation established that government workers are unblocking the drainage and collecting garbage daily. Cabro paving work is also going on at the main entrance of the stadium.

Car park

A huge military car park is being built within the stadium.

Residents said Madaraka Day has brought a lot of development to the area, adding such events should be held more often in the county.

"For decades we never had such development projects being done at the same time. We are happy for what is happening in the area, which has for many years been given a raw deal in terms of development," Mr Hesbon Nyaga, a resident, said.

"The region is a beehive of activity. Since the day it was announced that the President will be our guest, we have been enjoying a clean environment in urban centres. We are basking in joy," said Mr John Kariuki.

Njukiri Stadium, located four kilometres from the celebrations venue, is also being built to international standards.

"Njukiri will be a sport city, which will transform the county," Manyatta MP Gitonga Mukunji said.

Governor Cecily Mbarire is happy with the development projects in the region.

"The President agreed that we should host the celebrations and I am grateful," she said.

Traders are eagerly awaiting the guests.

"We are renovating our hotels and expanding them to be able to accommodate as many guests as possible," Mr Kanyi Mwangi said.

However, a group of traders who had encroached on the Embu Stadium land have been displaced. They are counting losses after being evicted.

"We have been operating here for decades and we were surprised to be told that we were illegally occupying part of the Stadium. We were kicked out to pave way for forthcoming celebrations and we lost businesses," one of the traders said.

Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo said all things must be in order before the arrival of the President.

"We are ready to conduct the celebrations and we are monitoring the progress of the construction in this stadium," said Dr Omollo.

He said 10,000 people are expected at the celebrations.


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