Kenya: Contractor Races to Finish Revived Kipchoge Keino Project

24 February 2021

After false starts, empty promises and an ultimatum from Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, construction work at the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Uasin Gishu County is back on track.

When Nation Sport visited the facility on Saturday night at 10pm at least 200 workers were on site.

The stadium is much talked about because it is expected to be completed in time to host the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games trials.

There was a lot of hope when the government announced in 2017 that it would renovate the stadium. But the project stalled soon after because of lack of funds, yet the region has produced world beaters.

Project manager Abdi Jamah told Nation Sport that workers have two shifts to speed up the project.

"We have started the southern wing and we are in the process of casting the wall and reinforcing the base for the terraces. We are racing against time. We plan to hand over a complete stadium in May," said Jamah.

Last month, Golbo Contractors began setting the base for the northern and southern terraces at the facility that is expected to have a 30,000 capacity once completed.

Olympics trials

Another firm - Shiv Construction Company- is still working on the VIP dais, while roofing is yet to be done on the eastern part of the stadium.

When CS Amina visited the stadium last month, she told the two contractors to speed up the stadium, saying that President Uhuru Kenyatta wants it completed as soon as possible.

Amina said that the stadium is important because the national trials for the Olympic Games are expected to be held there in June. A team to represent Kenya at Tokyo Summer Games will be selected during the trials.

"The stadium project has dragged, the contractors should work hard and finish it. The President is keen to have it completed. Athletics Kenya will use the facility to select a team that will represent Kenya in the Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo in July and August," said Amina.

Jamah said that the project might slow down once the rains start, but they are working hard to complete as much work as they can before it rains.

He said the government has provided enough security for the workers who have been exempted from the curfew rules in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.

"Our operations have been smooth since we restarted work in the last two months. We are happy that the government has provided us with enough security, and our staff is exempted from the curfew. If we move with the pace we have, we will finish the project on time," he told Nation Sport.

The ministry estimates that the stadium project will cost Sh653,590,545.

The money will cover the remaining terraces, drainage, roofing, construction of a parking lot and lighting, among other areas.

The government has allowed athletes to continue using the track for training ahead of the track competitions that are expected to start on Friday at Maseno University.

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