- Whether Mombasa residents will soon see a brand new international class stadium built soon remains to be seen.
- What is plain to see is the neglect of the Mombasa County Stadium that has become a wild ecosystem fit to feature in National Geographic.
When the prominent Shikelly family donated land to the Aga Khan Community to build a stadium in 1949 for their activities and in the process benefit the Coast community at large, they had very good intentions.
As expected, The Aga Khan put up a 10,000 capacity multipurpose facility called the Aga Khan Community Stadium, which they used for close to five years then leased the facility to Council of Mombasa in 1955.
The facility was thereafter renamed Mombasa Municipal stadium.
There was a mutual understanding that the lease would last 99 years and the council would maintain the facility on behalf of the community.
But since the lease was granted, little was done to the stadium to attract more clients and generate revenue for the council to enable it maintain the facility.
They did not know that what they thought would change the lives of the people in and around Mombasa would end up getting neglected.
The municipal stadium, now called Mombasa County Stadium, has become a breeding ground for dangerous reptiles like snakes that have taken advantage of the overgrown vegetation on the pitch.
Despite Mombasa being the second largest city in Kenya and a major tourist destination, it now has no functioning stadium worth mentioning.
Mombasa has not been able to host any international football match because the Mombasa County Stadium is unusable.
Kenyan Premier League side, Bandari, that is currently the country’s flag bearers in the Caf Confederation Cup have been forced to use the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi as their home ground instead of playing in Mombasa where they are based.
Neglect is written all over the facility that was closed for renovation in 2013.
To be precise, the stadium, which is the only sports facility within the municipality, which hosts various activities, was left to the dogs.
The drainage system at the stadium collapsed long time ago while the outside is surrounded by illegal structures housing food kiosks, sand harvesting dealers and carpenters, among other traders.
The stadium perimeter wall is tethering on collapse and is a real disaster in waiting.