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Abandoned Molo Stadium turning into dumpsite

Tuesday September 24 2019

An aerial view of the dilapidated Molo Stadium in Nakuru County. The stadium has no toilets or stands for the fans. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI |

An aerial view of the dilapidated Molo Stadium in Nakuru County. The stadium has no toilets or stands for the fans. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI |  NATION MEDIS GROUP

FRANCIS MUREITHI
By FRANCIS MUREITHI
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As one enters Molo Stadium in Nakuru County, one might be forgiven for thinking it is the main dumping site for waste in the sprawling township.

The stadium at the heart of Molo town is one playground one may wish to steer clear of.

Home to Molo All Stars and Molo Football Club which play in the Nakuru County Football Kenya Federation (FKF) League, the stadium is probably one of the dirtiest sports venues to have been used for football matches.

Right from the entrance, one can see murky sewerage that forms a ring round the seven-acre stadium. One then meets plastic bottles and raw sewerage flowing from a stinking and filled up toilet.

Then there are buildings that look worse for paint, as well as human and livestock waste that dot the stadium.

Separated by just three metres from a market next door, Molo Stadium is symptomatic of poor urban planning.

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At the gate are protruding twisted metals that act as a reminder of what used to be a metal gate that has since been vandalised.

The only visible indicator that the grounds once hosted football matches are two wobbly metal goal posts which stand out like a sore thumb.

One corner of the neglected stadium is has become home to street urchins who have turned it into a hideout.

Swirling winds often leave rubbish flying across the pitch, the rubbish flying high in the air as if to announce its conquest of the playground.

Molo Stadium is not only an example of how not to run football facilities, but it is also a looming health hazard that could explode anytime, especially when seen in the context of unplanned eateries surrounding the stadium.

Fast food outlets and a market near the stadium generate garbage that finds its way into the stadium, forcing teams to first collect the garbage before matches can start.

The fast food eateries and shops that ring the stadium are built on what should be the parking lot, forcing visiting teams to park vehicles inside the stadium.

Football fans and team officials attending matches are often forced to stand as there are no seats inside the stadium nor a roof, leaving them exposed to the elements of weather during matches.

And fans have to make do with no toilets and it is common to see fans peeing on the perimeter wall.

Nation Sports team saw traders dump waste along the stadium’s collapsing perimeter wall.

“This stadium is a big let down. The pitch has been taken over by street urchins who have turned it into a hideout,” said Molo All Stars midfielder Sam Muraya. “The toilets have been totally neglected. As players, we were deeply concerned of our health and we raised funds to keep them in working order but the county government turned down our offer for help, saying it is not our duty.”

Area Ward Representative Michael Njoroge Sonis said the stadium has no running water and toilet block, constructed by the defunct Molo Town Council, is unfit for human use.

“The stadium has no changing rooms and the girls teams are forced to change clothes in residential areas, which is risky,” said Njoroge.

Months ago, the county government dispatched a contractor to unblock the open sewerage and to level the playing field.

Interestingly, county government officials insist a contractor is meant to be on the ground, working on the stadium.

County executive for sports, Lucy Kariuki, said although money has not been set aside for repairing the stadium in the current financial year, funds will be allocated in the supplementary budget.

“The Molo stadium improvement project has rolled over from the previous regime. We plan to commit funds in the supplementary budget to ensure it is in good state,” said Kariuki.

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