What you need to know:
- The stadium to be built at the ASK show ground in Mamboleo will feature among other disciplines football, rugby, tennis, hockey pitches among others.
- In a tour of sports facilities in Kisumu county on Wednesday, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohammed also stated that the ground, which will be named Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium, will be constructed within six months.
The abandoned Mamboleo Showground is set to get a major face-lift after the national government broke grounds Wednesday ahead of construction of a modern stadium at a cost of Sh350 million.
The stadium to be built at the ASK show ground in Mamboleo will feature among other disciplines football, rugby, tennis, hockey pitches among others.
In a tour of sports facilities in Kisumu county on Wednesday, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohammed also stated that the ground, which will be named Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium, will be constructed within six months.
Mrs Mohammed also renamed the Jomo Kenyatta Sports ground located in the Kisumu Central Business District and is also to be given a face lift, to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Recreational Park.
Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and Ambassador Mohammed said the two facilities are being constructed in honour of the country’s founding father Jomo Kenyatta and the first Vice President, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.
The Mamboleo Show Grounds has over the years played host to Agricultural Show of Kenya exhibitions, been used as the home ground for Kisumu Rugby Football Club, concerts and also hosting Onge Ringo Six-Aside football tournament and Touch Rugby.
“This is the least we can do for these heroes. We have a directive that the project is done very quickly within six months,” said Mrs Mohammed.
The project, which the CS said will be overseen by Sports Kenya, a body responsible for all the stadia in the country, is set to have a capacity of 30,000 people.
She added: “We would like to have a facility that is all encompassing that may be developed further in future to accommodate other disciplines such as basketball.”
She added that the Sh350 million is the initial funds allocated for the project, but may talk to the National Treasury to see whether they can get more funds should there be need.
The Sports CS lauded the talent in Kisumu giving examples of Kenyan Premier League (KPL) team Kisumu All-stars, Lakeside Basketball Team, Kisumu RFC and the Taekwondo under 16 team.
“I was happy to see the Kisumu All Stars make it to the KPL after only six months, this is the potential we want to tap into and nurture through the improved sports facility,” said the CS.
Governor Nyong'o pointed out that for a long time, the county has had the prime land only used once a year for one week with multi-million investments left to degenerate.
He stated that his government has been working very closely with the regional leadership of ASK to reverse this unfortunate situation that culminated in the drawing up of a master plan that visions making the show an economic hub.
"As we invest in programs that encourage the youth to develop their sporting talents as a means to economic advancement, we must put commensurate investments in sporting infrastructure. This stadium will go a long way in responding to the inadequacy of such facilities in the county,” said Governor Nyong’o.
On the proposed Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Recreational Facility, the county stated that it will not be one for competitive sports, but recreational activities.
This facility will be funded by the World Bank and already the transformational works has already started weeks after Chichwa Market, which is adjacent to the facility was officially opened by the CS and Governor Nyong’o.
“Every year, the people from this part of the world have said that they want to see a monument in honour of the doyen of politics in this region, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. Today that wish comes true as we rename this sports ground that has tonnes of sentimental memories to the people of this city and county “Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports Ground”,” said Governor Nyong’o.
On rehabilitation of Moi Stadium, the county boss only indicated that they will be improving it gradually.