Nairobi City County Governor Johnson Sakaja today, 10th July, 2023 made an inspection of the new Dandora stadium which is heading into completion.
Sakaja was accompanied by the county government top brass in the sports docket led by the County Executive Committee member for talent, skills development and care, under which sports falls Brian Mulama and the talent, skills development and care Chief Officer Oscar Igaida among others.
“Today’s visit is to establish the extent of Stadium construction after we broght back the contractor on site and I am very happy with the progress here. We are going to have new stadium in Dandora and this will help our youth to engage in sports as a way of exploiting their talents,” Sakaja said.
“The state-of -the-art sports facility will give the youth a chance to nurture their talent and develop sports. The new Dandora Stadium will have notable features like; artificial turf, seats, a gym centre, modern stalls and floodlights,” Sakaja added.
This move is one among many which have been initiated by the Sakaja administration in his clarion call of making Nairobi work “Lazima Ita Work” that has been the Governor’s motto.
Construction works at Dandora Stadium resumed following the intervention of the Nairobi governor after work had stalled in 2019 when the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission moved to probe the alleged procurement irregularities believed to have cost the taxpayers millions of shillings.
Former Governor Mike Sonko’s administration was accused of making Sh196.9 million irregular payments to the contractor and irregular change of the contract name but in 2021, the Senate Labour and Social Welfare committee which was then chaired by Sakaja (then Nairobi Senator) ordered resumption of work at the stadium.
Mulama said that sports is a key sector and the county government will ensure that we develop the right infrastructure for our youth to develop their talents and skills in sports which is a multi billion industry globally.
On his part, the talent, skills development and care Chief Officer Oscar Igaida said: “Public spaces are prone to land grabbers, it is the intention of Governor Sakaja to fulfill the promises made in his Manifesto to secure and develop all our sports grounds in all the 17 sub-counties for public use. We are determined to ensure that no one will use spaces meant for the community, for private or any other use we will not allow land grabbers to tamper with these spaces.”
Football stakeholders in Nairobi have lauded the resumption of works in the Stadium noting that this will held teams in Nairobi have access to quality fields to play on in various leagues.
According to communication strategist and football stakeholder, completing Dandora stadium will help teams in Eastlands areas where currently, there is no grounds that can be used by teams to play their league fixtures.
“Governor Sakaja deserves commendation for his remarkable intervention in saving Dandora stadium. Unlike many newly elected governors who tend to abandon previous projects in favor of starting new ones, Sakaja’s commitment to continue with this project showcases his integrity and lack of resentment. His actions demonstrate a pure heart and a commendable approach to governance,” Okaka said.
“I really thank Governor Sakaja for honouring his word and ensuring construction of the new Dandora Stadium. As a football stakeholder, I know this stadium will really help teams because in the whole of Eastlands there is no stadium. Teams have to hire Nyayo Stadium, Kasarani, Camp Toyoyo or the private owned members clubs along Thika road. It is a very dire situation for especially teams in lower leagues,”Okaka added.
Mulama said that the same contactor working on Dandora stadium has also been tasked with bulding the four other county stadiums in Nairobi that had earlier been planned for construction.
The same contractor in site will also build the four other planned new stadiums which had been lined up alongside Dandora which is in Embakasi North Sub County. The other modern sports facilities to be constructed are Jacaranda grounds (Embakasi East), Kihumbuini (Westlands), Woodley (Kibra) and Kariokor (Starehe).