Ababu Namwamba Kenya’s Sports Cabinet Secretary, announces Bukhungu Stadium as the primary host for the 2024 African Nations Championship (CHAN), set to be co-hosted by Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Renovations at Bukhungu Stadium are scheduled for completion by June, in preparation for the 16-team event in September this year.
This marks Kenya’s second opportunity to host CHAN, having lost the 2018 hosting rights due to venue readiness issues. Namwamba discussed plans during a meeting with Kakamega County Governor Boss Fernandes Barasa, who pledged to ensure the timely readiness of the venue.
Namwamba stated, “Our target is to have Kakamega as the host city. Should there be a need for alternative or subsidiary sites, then we shall also be looking at Kisumu or Nakuru as possible subsidiary venues.”
For Bukhungu to gain CAF approval, it must achieve a category four rating, as per CAF stadium regulations. The criteria include a smooth playing surface with natural grass, hybrid, or artificial turf, along with a proper drainage system. The stadium should also have well-equipped dressing rooms, individually numbered seats, and must align with CHAN’s minimum requirements.
Governor Barasa emphasized ongoing efforts to address these requirements: “We need to work on the changing rooms and improve the drainage system of the pitch, and we also have terraces being constructed. Those are some of the items among others that have been highlighted by CHAN as the irreversible minimum requirements.”
Namwamba additionally outlined plans to align all sporting facilities with CAF and World Athletics standards, collaborating with county governments to meet international standards. Discussions with Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika are underway to ensure Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium meets these standards.
Report by Jesse Abisheck