- The few playing grounds available for use in the county have no grass pitches, just sandy fields with no stands or terraces
- Before joining St Anthony’s Boys, Emuria was among the top talents that endured harsh weather conditions when playing for Islamic Football Club junior team
- Turkana is home to Kakuma United FC and Nawoitorong Rangers which compete in Western Zone B of Football Kenya Federation Division Two League
Turkana, the second largest county in Kenya after Marsabit, does not have a single stadium.
Lodwar, a vibrant town which hosts the county headquarters, has no single stadium but the region is teaming with youth who have embraced sports despite the harsh climate.
The few playing grounds available for use in the county have no grass pitches, just sandy fields with no stands or terraces. At the site of the proposed Lodwar Stadium, players normally engage in football matches as fans watch in the scorching heat from the sun. Many calls have been made to both the national and county governments to build a standard stadium to motivate youth from the region to play football but not much has been done.
Next to the busy Lodwar Airport that witnesses at least eight flights daily, lies Lodwar GK Prison Grounds.
When Nation Sport team arrived at the grounds, we found it decorated with used motor vehicle tires of different sizes all round. The management of the corrective facility has planted trees round it in the hope that they will grow fast to protect football fans from scorching heat from the sun and temperatures that sometimes go above 40 degrees Celsius.
When it rains, the grounds experience flooding, forcing suspension of matches. That has been the fate of budding footballers who hope to to become future stars. But there have been good stories from Turkana. Last year, 14-year-old Issa Emuria emerged the best goalkeeper in the inaugural edition of Copa Coca-Cola Under-16 Africa Cup of Nations football tournament. Emuria’s team St Anthony’s Boys Kitale won the title in the tournament played at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru County.
Countries that competed in the tournament include African football powerhouses Nigeria, Ethiopia, Zambia, Uganda, Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, Angola and Zimbabwe.
Before joining St Anthony’s Boys, Emuria was among the top talents that endured harsh weather conditions when playing for Islamic Football Club junior team.