Kenya: Hola Stadium Incomplte As Venue Contractors Disappear

That Tana River County is endowed with talent is not in doubt. The region has produced gifted players who feature in the Kenyan Premier League and other leagues abroad.

From Issah Marsis of Bandari Football Club, Hadhima Mustafa of Mathare United Girls to Maro Buya in the Spanish Youth League and Hellen Akare in the USA women's league, the county is indeed home to talented players.

However, players are fleeing the county to look for opportunities elsewhere owing to the lack of training facilities.

Contractors have milked the Tana River County Government of cash but little to show for the Sh39 million Hola Stadium.

The stadium is barely 40 percent done and yet Sh29 million has been sunk into the project which is way behind schedule.

Sources in the county administration told Nation Sport that two contractors were awarded the tender and but failed to deliver.

Nevertheless, the contractors were paid more than Sh12 million before a new contractor was brought on board.

Tana River County Sports executive Abbas Kunyo said that the administration is concerned that the project has dragged behind yet they expected work to be completed by the end of the 2019/20 financial year.

"We are only left with Sh10 million for the stadium project. The pace at which work has been done is annoying. Nothing seems to be moving in as much as we are paying according to the advice of our engineers on the ground," he said.

Kunyo noted the report presented to him shows the stadium is 70 percent done, with only the perimeter wall, the dais and changing rooms left. The executive told Nation Sport that the contractor has built a drainage system, a running and exercise track. However, we found a different picture on the ground.

There was no track as stated by the executive. Sources who know the operations of the project said that the first two contractors allegedly pocketed money for excavation, levelling and planting grass that was bought at a more than Sh7 million before they disappeared.

The third contractor, therefore, has been responsible for work on the drainage that is barely done, putting in place a water system and digging of an underground water supply.

The new contractor, through his engineer, asked the county administration to be allowed to carry out a refill with soil brought in from elsewhere because the one available locally would not achieve the desired results.

After receiving the green light from the administration, the contractor did the refill.

Football Kenya Federation Tana River branch chairman Said Illu has, however, dismissed work done on the ground as a waste of resources.

Illu said the ground does not meet the FKF standards for an 11-a-aside team owing to its small size and poor measurements.

At the start of the 2018/19 financial year, Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana promised locals an upgrade of 14 playing grounds, each situated in their respective wards.

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