Masinde Muliro-Kanduyi Stadium is situated in Bungoma County, a place known for producing some of the best athletes in Kenya.
Among the athletes to have come from the region are 1972 Olympics 3,000 metres steeplechase silver medallist Ben Jipcho, former 10,000m World champion Linet Masai, her brother Moses Masai, and long distance runner Leonard Komon.
Like in neighbouring Kakamega County, Bungoma County government has commenced construction of Sh650 million modern stadium. According to Governor Wycliffe Wangamati, the sports facility will be built in phases. The first phase of the project will expand the sports venue to a capacity for 5,000 people, and will take two years to complete.
In the first phase, VIP terraces that can hold 2,000 people will be constructed alongside changing rooms, a perimeter wall, football pitch, a running track and parking area.
“We have a good plan for sportsmen and women of this region. The work on the facility includes building terraces with a capacity for 3,000 people and additional terraces in the stadium and office space,” said Governor Wangamati.
The second phase will see the stadium, which sits on a 20-acre piece of land, expanded to a 20,000-seater facility.
Once complete, the stadium will have modern facilities and offices including spectator areas, changing rooms, locker rooms for sports officials and team coaches, changing rooms for ancillary staff, washrooms, first aid and medical centre, and a pitch maintenance and control room.
There will also be a media centre, VVIP lounge, boardrooms, an anti-doping room and changing rooms for referees. The stadium will have a basketball court, football pitch, volleyball and netball courts as well as rugby, hockey and netball pitches, a swimming pool and a hall for indoor games as well as a gymnasium.
“We are doing these because the county government is committed to ensuring that we nurture and support local talents moving forward,” added Wangamati.
Masinde Muliro-Kanduyi Stadium was built in the 1950s and was later renamed Kanduyi Stadium. It hosted major sports events, including the national football league matches.
Bungoma Youth, Gender and Sports executive Everlyne Kakai told Nation Sport her team will work with development partners to deliver the new stadium.
Lunao Enterprises won the tender for construction of the stadium. The contractor moved to the site a month ago.
“We are one month old at the site and we have the capacity to deliver the project on time. It involves a lot of work, including excavation. We shall hand over the facility in time,” said Benson Mbaisi from Lunao Enterprises.
Despite heavy rain that has been pounding the region, Mbaisi insists the challenging part of putting up the stadium’s foundation is over, and soon the terraces will be up.