What you need to know:
- Bukhungu Stadium is home to Football Kenya Federation Premier League side Kakamega Homeboyz Football Club. The team was promoted from the FKF Division One in the 2012/2013 season.
- “We want to reclaim our position in talent development, particularly in football and I’m glad we have blessings from our governor. We hope that in the near future, we shall supply the bulk of the players to the national football team. It is something we are capable of doing,” Mandela says.
In many ways, Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega County has set the pace for the whole country with regard to development of sporting infrastructure.
Kakamega County government has completed the first phase of the project at a cost of Sh475 million, and the facility has so far hosted various matches in the region.
The project was approved for implementation after public participation and in 2015, the county government awarded the contract to Wikori Building and Civil Engineering Contractors Company Limited which moved to the site. By December 2017, the first phase of the stadium was complete, and Governor Wycliffe Oparanya commissioned it.
Last week, Kakamega County Executive for Social Services, Youth, Sports, Gender and Culture Moffat Mandela told Nation Sport that Bukhungu Stadium is a 6.6 billion project which is being done in three phases.
“The county government is keen on developing sports talent and having a good facility is the most important thing we can do because youth from the area will be able to showcase their skills and this will be an opening for them to grow in whatever sport they choose,” Mandela told Nation Sport.
The first phase of the project which is now complete involved construction of stands, VIP terraces, two changing rooms, doping control room, VIP and VVIP rooms, referee rooms, conference rooms, offices for the county government, and parking space with a capacity for more than 200 vehicles.
The second phase will cost Sh2.9 billion and is currently 48 percent complete. The second phase is projected to be complete in the next two years. Once finished, the stadium will have a capacity for 25,000 fans.
The second phase of the project involves building terraces on the C-section connecting the main VIP stand to the rest of the stadium, offices, gym room, six changing rooms, an area to be used for headcount during emergencies, and a dispensary room.
“Work on the second phase of the project is unique in itself. There will be good space inside the stadium, which will have offices, rooms for indoor games, among other amenities. We want to utilize the available space and make good use of the stadium when it is complete,” Mandela added.
The third phase of the project will cost 1.9 billion and will involve construction of the last arch supporting the terraces which will connect the C- section to the whole stadium, roofing of the terraces, construction banking halls, police station, completion of 400 metres-long athletics track, laying of an artificial track inside the stadium, upgrading of the football pitch to international standards, and installation of an underground drainage system.
Once complete, Bukhungu Stadium will have other proposed facilities such as a modern swimming pool, two training pitches, team base camp, a commercial affiliate village, referees hotel, FIFA hotel, volunteer centre, and a media centre.
“After completion of the whole project, we hope to make the stadium commercially viable. Our goal is to attract national and international matches, and for the community to benefit when the facility is in use. Should Kenya host the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in future, Bukhungu Stadium should be able to host some of the matches,” he added.
Under the leadership of Governor Fernandez Barasa, Kakamega is developing a sports policy to guide talent development.
It is anticipated that the planned governor’s cup featuring football, rugby, volleyball and other sporting events will give youth from the region a platform to showcase their talents.
Apart from Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega County Government is upgrading 14 other pitches, among them St Teresa Primary School in Likuyani, Lumakanda pitch in Lugari, Matete pitch in Lugari, Pan Paper pitch in Webuye, Khayega pitch in Shinyalu, and Emanani in Matungu.
“When hosting an international match, there is need for a number of training pitches close to the main stadium where teams can hold training sessions. We are working on these to ensure they have the right type of grass surface, good drainage system and a pavilion being built so that they can be in usable conditions,” Mandela added.
Bukhungu Stadium is home to Football Kenya Federation Premier League side Kakamega Homeboyz Football Club. The team was promoted from the FKF Division One in the 2012/2013 season.
“We want to reclaim our position in talent development, particularly in football and I’m glad we have blessings from our governor. We hope that in the near future, we shall supply the bulk of the players to the national football team. It is something we are capable of doing,” Mandela says.
Tomorrow: Focus on Bomet IAAF Stadium which has been taken over by the national government after six-year delay