Race against time

Thursday, May 20th, 2021 00:00 | By
State Department for Interior PS Karanja Kibicho (centre) and his Sports counterpat Joe Okudo at the stadium yesterday. Photo/PD/VIOLA KOSOME

Construction of the Sh415 million Jomo Kenyatta Sports Complex in Mamboleo, Kisumu engaged a new gear yesterday with the contractors seeking to beat the June 1 deadline when the facility hosts the Madaraka Day celebrations.

Upgrading of major roads and feeder roads leading to the sports centre that was commissioned late last year, is also going on, barely three weeks to the national holiday, where President Uhuru Kenyatta will lead the nation in marking the 58th celebration with a number of guests expected to attend.

A sport check by People Daily established that work at the 30,000 seater stadium is about 80% complete.

The perimeter wall has been erected and grass planted on the playing surface, with proper drainage around the playing surface and a completed changing room, but the tartan track, the main dais and the terraces are still not completed. 

Yesterday, the casual workers were working on the tartan track, watering the playing surface, rushing the terraces and doing final touches on the parking areas among other places.

According to Jonah Kirui a welder putting up the terraces, they still have a lot of work to do and admitted that time was not on their side.

He also lamented the heavy rains that pounded the area the whole of last week, saying it seriously slowed their work.

The workers are now working round the clock, 24 hours a day though shifts as they try meet their target.

State Department for Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho who made a sport check to inspect the level of preparedness of the facility, reiterated that the construction works should be completed before June 1.

He commended the team for doing a wonderful job and said that they were currently doing final touches and said that rehearsals will be done on June 30 and the works should be completed by then.

“We intend to host 3,000 people on that day and additional 20,000 people will be able to watch the event at an alternative ground,”Kibicho told People Sport in Kisumu.

He added that live television screening will be placed all over the town to enable Kisumu residents to watch the event live.

Governor Anyang Nyong’o who accompanied the PS said Covid-19 protocols will be followed to the latter during the celebrations to help contain the pandemic.

Early this Month, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed said the facility was to be handed over by May 23.

Amina who inspected the progress of the works at the facility on May 8 said the contractor gave them an assurance.

Last month, when she made a spot check, the government gave a nod for the construction of four additional stands which are yet to be completed.

The new stadium will have a main playing field of International standards, 8 lanes running track, VIP pavilion and lounge and also spectators stands.

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