Uasin Gishu secures Sh2 billion Chinese loan for stadia

Uasin Gishu County government has secured a Sh2 billion loan from a Chinese bank to construct a state of the art stadium and undertake a facelift of the two existing ones within Eldoret town.

This is aimed at providing top of the range sporting facilities to help athletes during training.

Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago revealed that representatives of Exim Bank will be in the country next month to conduct feasibility studies on Kipchoge Keino and 64 stadiums, with construction works slated to start in December.

The governor regretted that Uasin Gishu was regarded as the home of champions yet many athletes who have put the country in the world map were not getting access to good training facilities.

“The funds will be used in upgrading the two stadiums that are currently in a deplorable state. As a sporting county in the country we need to have state of the art facilities within the disposal of our sportsmen to allow them train well,” said Mr Mandago.

The governor said that in line with the government’s manifesto to have at least one fully furnished stadium that can hold continental championship in every county, Uasin Gishu would be the first to achieve that thanks to the funding.

Mr Mandago was among the governors who accompanied President Uhuru Kenyatta on a recent tour to China where the President secured a Sh425 billion grant to cover railway, energy, wildlife management and other sectors.

In 2003, the government set aside approximately Sh200 million for the refurbishment of the Kipchoge Keino Stadium but up to date the contractor is yet to complete the works, with accusations that the funds might have been embezzled.

Under the deal, the stadium was to be the first, outside Nairobi, to be laid with a tartan track.

The contractor has so far used Sh20 million to import the track from Spain, but it is yet to be laid.

Many of the athletes, including 3,000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi, nurtured their athletics careers in the stadium. However, it has now been reduced to a near shell with grain farmers using the grounds to dry their produce.