The contractor tasked with upgrading Manga Stadium in Nyamira County has committed to finish the job by June next year but is concerned about delayed payment.
Angelina Moturu of Saumo Enterprise Limited, the company that is doing construction work, told Nation Sport last week that late pay was the main challenge she is facing in the multi-million shilling project which was started six years ago. The stadium is expected to cost Sh109 million.
She said that the Nyamira County Government had paid her part of the money towards the end of June after the Nation highlighted the appalling state of the stadium.
"We have been having problems with delayed payment from the county government, therefore, we were not able to pay workers and buy construction materials. However, the county government has paid some money that has enabled us to get some materials," she said.
The company was awarded the tender last January to build the main pavilion that will have a capacity to hold 4,000 people, a running track, install irrigation and drainage systems and plant grass.
This is after the initial company that was given the job of erecting a fence and levelling the playing surface in 2014 did a shoddy job resulting in the project stalling. The stadium was scheduled to be constructed in four phases for four years.
The first phase would involve building a fence, the drainage system, levelling of the playing surface and drilling of boreholes. This was supposed to have taken a year to complete.
In the second phase that was approximated to take one and half years, construction of the main pavilion, installation of the irrigation system on the playing surface and putting up a running track were to be done. The third phase involved putting up six spectator stands and areas for indoor games would take a year.
Building a tartan track and installing security lights would be done in the fourth and final phase. By May this year, only a fence, a borehole and the foundation for the main pavilion had been done. The stadium stands on eight hectares.
"According to the agreement we signed with the county government, the project is expected to be finalised by 2022 but I want to finish by next year June. But this will only happen if payment will be done in time," the contractor said.
A spot check by Nation Sport established that pipes for drainage and underground irrigation were at the site. Work on the main pavilion was underway.
The County Executive Committee member for Sports, Johnstone Obike said, "After completion of levelling of the surface in 2016, no contractor qualified for other stadium projects.
Works were suspended until January this year when we managed to get a qualified contractor."
Asked about the delayed payment he said, "The county government will divert resources towards the project and I hope it will be completed within the scheduled period.
"For now we are concentrating on three areas; the main pavilion, the track and the playing ground. In future we will embark on other areas," he said.
Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) in the region have accused the executive of ignoring the Sports docket.
Nominated MCA George Mosiori representing the youth said, "The project has stalled because the county government has not listed Sports among its key areas. However, contractors are doing a great job but they are frustrated by delayed payment.
It is expected that once complete, the facility will contain a main stand and the VIP area with a sitting capacity of 4,000 people and two spectators stands with a capacity of to accommodate 1,400 fans each.
Other intended improvements will include putting up of standard changing rooms, security lights, nursing rooms and inner perimeter fence.