The Government must ensure money set aside for sports development is used well

Published on 12/06/2009

From the 2009/2010 Budget estimates, the Government allocated millions of shillings for sports development.

Rift Valley Province got Sh7.5 million, with Nairobi, Nyanza, Coast, Eastern, North Eastern, Western and Central provinces getting Sh5 million each. Sports Stadia Management Board (SSMB) received Sh30 million with China ready to pump Sh2.2 billion.

The money will ensure not only are new facilities built but also that existing ones are maintained to the required standards.

It also shows the Government cares about sports and is determined to make available the much-needed facilities. However, considering the rising needs for such facilities, the money may be insufficient. But those tasked with using the money should ensure that it is put to the intended use.

It is disheartening that last year, the Government also gave out equal amounts, save for Rift Valley that received Sh3 million for the same purpose but there is nothing on the ground to show for it.

In most parts of the country, there are virtually no playing facilities except. SSMB should have its mandate extended to run other sports facilities other than Kasarani and Nyayo Stadium and budgetary allocation to SSMB should be increased to enable it achieve this goal.

From Nairobi to Kisumu and Mombasa, the existing facilities are in a sorry state. The Government, through the Ministry of Sports, should make follow-ups on whether the intended projects are carried out.

Otherwise it will be like putting money in a leaking basket that does not help our sporting standards to improve. Further, the money awarded to SSMB should be used to renovate Nyayo Stadium.

The stadium has been banned by Fifa. After the Government pulled out of a naming rights deal with Coca-Cola, SSMB must make the facility’s renovation a priority.

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