Healthcare facilities, sports centres near completion
Eric Wainaina @EWainaina
On October 28, 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the construction of the Ulinzi Sports Complex and inaugurated the Defence Forces Wellness Centre to provide a one-stop facility for healthcare services, unique to the military.
The multi-billion shilling facility, the first of its kind in the region, is intended to bolster military morale, and also marked another milestone for the President’s Universal Health Coverage (UHC) pillar of the government’s Big 4 Agenda, which gives priority to preventive healthcare.
“The sports complex, therefore, aligns well with my government’s priorities of a seamless healthcare system and the promotion of sporting activities,” the President said then.
Upon completion, Ulinzi Sports Complex will host a modern football pitch and training ground, an indoor arena, basketball and tennis courts, and an Olympic-size swimming pool on 35 acres of land inside Lang’ata Barracks.
The wellness centre is a 70-bed capacity hospital, well equipped to offer outpatient and inpatient medical services in mental health, visual, hearing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and orthopedic specialisations.
There are some of the projects the government has been undertaking away from the public glare. And in what has also put the country on the global arena, Uhuru last month opened a new government small arms factory in Ruiru, Kiambu County.
The Sh4 billion factory, with a single-shift annual production capacity of 12,000 assault rifles, is part of a broad multi-agency national security industries strategy, and according to the Head of State, the factory draws 60 per cent of its input from local sources.
Cost of living
“This ground-breaking initiative will allow us to lay the foundation for addressing the high cost of weapons acquisition, free us from the complex foreign export approval processes currently in place, provide Kenya with greater security sector independence and flexibility, and allow Kenya to design and produce high-quality weapons, customised to our unique needs,” Uhuru said.
The Jubilee administration, which has been on the spot over its unfulfilled promise to construct modern stadiums across the country, is currently fast tracking completion of three state-of-the-art sports facilities, including the 4,500-seater capacity Kirubia stadium in Tharaka-Nithi at a cost of Sh384 million, a 30,000 seater Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu as well as the upgrading of the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.
Further, the government is upgrading the Jamhuri Sports, Leisure and Entertainment Park in Nairobi in addition to the refurbishing of sporting facilities in Eldoret, Marsabit, Meru, Nyeri, Makueni, Kisii, Wanguru in Kirinyaga and Kirigiti in Kiambu.
Upon, completion of Kirigiti stadium located near Kiambu town will host 16,000 people and will comprise two basketball courts, a football pitch and an athletics track.
Historically, Kirigiti stadium was known for cricket and the ongoing facelift is envisaged to decongest stadiums in Nairobi especially for football matches.
On April 27, 2021, the President launched the National Land Information Management System, a digital land resource management platform aptly named Ardhisasa, designed to enhance the security of land records, speed up land transactions and curb fraud.
Mount Kenya Youth Caucus chairman Linford Mutembei says whereas the government had done much on the development front, little has been done to market the President’s legacy projects.
“Those with the duty of branding the government to the public or those with positions that demand of them to be at the forefront in popularising the government’s development agenda such as elected leaders, seem to have their lopsided strategies and priorities,” he noted.