Dilapidated Oshakati stadium turning into white elephant… no longer suitable to host sports activities
ONGWEDIVA - Despite having accrued heaps of money from hosting events, the Oshakati Independence Stadium is still facing challenges in maintenance.
This situation has left the facility in a precarious state and unable to attract major sports gatherings to the region.
The partly dilapidated stadium has in recent years become a hotspot for hosting political rallies, social events and even trade exhibitions. But as a result of its present sorry state, the facility can only attract sporadic in-house events.
On the plus side, the stadium had by August last year generated a huge amount of N$676 020 from events hosted there but that sum has reportedly increased ever since. At it stands, the stadium now only hosts athletics competitions for schools in the Oshana Region.
New Era Sport has established that the custodian of the stadium, the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, has for years struggled to procure a lawnmower, leaving the football surface in a bad state.
In addition, the ministry has also been struggling to water the grass because the water levels in the town have been very low.
The stadium is watered from resources diverted from the canal, which stretches from Calueque to Oshakati.
In the meantime, money raised from rent has raised eyebrows and the community wants to know why that money cannot be used for maintenance of the stadium.
Although funds were previously withdrawn to maintain the facility, the committee, which was appointed to safe keep the money donated towards the upkeep of the stadium, has steadily dissolved.
Some of the signatories have retired, leaving only a functional signatory who without the other parties also remains dormant. A committee comprising of people from various sectors in the Oshana Region was established shortly after the official opening of the stadium and an account was opened to manage large amounts of funds donated at the time. The same account was subsequently used for money derived from rental fees. Quizzed whether the ministry has set aside a budget to maintain recreational facilities across the country, the Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Erastus Uutoni, said the ministerial budget does unfortunately not permit activities of that nature.
“What you see in Oshakati is exactly the same situation we have with other sports facilities across the country – hence we are now looking into means to see how the money raised can be used to benefit the stadium,” said Uutoni.
The portfolio minister added that his ministry would do everything in its power in conjunction with all stakeholders to ensure how income can be better utilised for the overall benefit and upkeep of the hopelessly underutilised stadium.
2019-01-29 10:38:38 6 months ago