WINDHOEK – The Eenhana Multi-Purpose Sport Complex, which was initially aimed at addressing the incessant lack of sports facilities and accord the country’s youth an opportunity to compete and showcase their talents, remains in a sorry state and continues to dwindle.
During his recent budget motivation speech in the National Assembly, Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service Erastus Uutoni expressed concern over the prolonged construction of various sports facilities, specifically the Eenhana Multi-Purpose Sport Complex, which has been under construction for the past 10 years.
Construction of the Eenhana Multi-Purpose Sport Complex initially started late 2009 and gained momentum in 2010 with the completion of phase 1, which included clearing and fencing off the plot, ground works and construction of the pavilion.
Completion of phase 2 of the complex was hit by financial constraints during the 2010/11 fiscal year and resulted in the ministry completely freezing that particular phase, which was to include a football pitch, tennis and basketball courts as well as netball courts to mention but a few.
The freezing of phase 2 resulted in the abandonment of the complex for some years, which later saw construction resume mid-2013 and was then followed by the completion of parts of phase 3, which included administration office blocks at the complex but the constructed offices have since been falling apart and renovations will need to be done if they are to be occupied in future.
Further queries with various officials at the sports ministry brought to the fore that phase 4 of the complex, which was to include the construction of staff accommodation, ablution facilities, pump station, parking lots and other additional amenities, was to commence in 2014 but funds for phase 4 were shifted to the hosting of the 2014 CAF Women Championship, which was reported to have cost Namibia about N$80 million to stage the event.
Motivating his ministry’s budget in the National Assembly, Uutoni said: “The Eenhana sport stadium has been in construction for more than ten years and thus Ohangwena Region is deprived of their right and opportunity to host and participate in sport activities. Lack of funds remains our biggest bottleneck in sport. Lack of sports facilities and dilapidated facilities are a problem. If more sports facilities were of international standards, Namibia could be hosting more international events and contribute through sport tourism to the national development agenda.”
With continuous budget cuts at the sport ministry, it remains worryingly unknown as to when the construction of phase 4 and subsequent completion of the Eenhana sport complex will commence.
For the past three financial years, the sports ministry’s budget continues to dwindle as the ministry got N$288 million for the 2018/19 fiscal year, which was a massive N$97 million reduction from the N$385 million the ministry was allocated in the 2017/18 fiscal period.