While visiting Kabarnet Stadium in Baringo County, one encounters a partially built perimeter wall that is falling apart with no gate at the entrance.
Located a few metres from the Central Business District of Kabarnet town, the stadium has been abandoned with cows grazing on the pitch.
It is clear that there is nothing going on at the stadium and we are told local teams have been using the Agricultural Society of Kenya and Kabarnet High School grounds for various tournaments.
A spot check by Nation Sport revealed that the contractor has planted grass on the pitch and built a perimeter wall which has since developed cracks and is almost collapsing. The contractor also put up a lavatory before the project stalled.
Gullies have also developed in the open field which used to host several field events including ball games and athletics in the region. A footpath in the middle of the pitch to the nearby estate is clearly visible as you enter the stadium.
Nation Sport has learnt that the project had been allocated 500 million with reports indicating that a meagre Sh56 million has thus far been allocated for the construction works which were a flagship project of the county government.
Athletes in this region have no alternative grounds to train on and are forced to use the roads which are not up to standard.
An athlete who didn’t want to be quoted told Nation Sport that he had to change his base to Kaptagat in Elgeyo Marakwet County due to the nature of his training.
“I had to shift to Kaptagat because I wanted a place where I could access a murram track surface. We normally do this at Moi University-Annex Campus and I must say it has been a good experience,” he said.
“Kabarnet is a hilly place and there is no alternative for the stadium which has been abandoned after the construction stalled. We were happy that something good was coming our way but this is far from over.”
Baringo County has produced a number of good athletes including Boston Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono, National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) president Paul Tergat, former Commonwealth silver medallist in marathon Joshua Chelang’a among others.
On his part, the County Executive in charge of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Clement Lomaring’oria said they were considering awarding another contractor to continue with the works.
“The contractor did a shoddy job and we are going to award the works to another one who will continue to its completion once we have the right documents for the stadium,” he said.
Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis had in the past pointed out that works on the stadium had to be suspended after some individuals with genuine title deeds re-emerged claiming compensation for their ancestral land.
“We are still waiting for the wrangles of ownership of land to be solved first because some people have surfaced claiming ownership of the land,” said Kiptis in an earlier interview.
A report by Auditor General Edward Ouko in the 2017/18 financial year revealed that a contractor was awarded contract of Sh17.5 million for the rehabilitation of the stadium in December 2017 to be completed in February 28, 2018.
However, reports indicate that the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure paid the contractor Sh16.7 million as at June 30,2018, which was made long after the expiry of the contract period and no documentary evidence was produced to confirm that he had sought and was granted an extension of the contract.
The report also revealed that the stadium is incomplete despite the expiry of the contract period on February 28, 2018. The contractor also was not on site and no materials or workers were seen at the site.
The Auditor General’s report had shown that the bills of quantities provided for two goalposts at a cost of Sh186, 000 but none was seen at the site.
Tomorrow: Focus on Bomet stadium in Bomet County.