Four national class sports stadia are undergoing construction in various parts of Machakos County, the Chief Officer for Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports, Carlos Henry Kioko has revealed.
Kioko said the four are part of nine proposed stadiums the government plans to put up, in its endeavor to promote sports as an income-generating, safe leisurely preoccupation.
Speaking on Saturday during celebrations to mark the National Youth Week held at Masii market, the Chief Officer said the government of Machakos was determined to engage the youth and nurture them into responsible citizens of this country.
During the occasion, the Director of Administration at the Department of Youth in the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender, Samson Wangusi inaugurated the newly a refurbished Mwala Youth Empowerment Centre, a one-stop facility in which youth can access youth-friendly services at no cost.
The Empowerment Centre has indoor games, free internet and guidance and counselling facilities, among others. Established under the Ministry’s Youth Economic Empowerment programme the facility comprises of a library, ICT centre, Guidance and Counselling section and a common hall where the area youth who have been left destitute and unemployed by the recent ban on sand harvesting could realize and actualize their different potentials.
“This center was established for you, the youth, and it is free of charge. I urge you to use it instead of just loitering while engaging in drug abuse and whining about lack of opportunities. I particularly urge those of you from Mwala, who have been rendered idle by the recent ban on sand mining to utilize this facility,” advised the Mwala Deputy County Commissioner Alphazard Gitonga.
The Mwala Youth Empowerment Centre is the fourth facility in Machakos County after three others in Mavoko, Kangundo and Yatta sub-counties.
Kioko also encouraged the youth to take advantage of the many facilities being availed to them by both the national and county governments to develop their sporting, entrepreneurial and leadership skills.
The chief officer challenged the youth to apply for loans being offered by the affirmative action funds including the Youth Enterprise Development, Uwezo and Women’s Enterprise Funds to better their lives.
“If you want to succeed in this life you must be focused and be a go-getter” he said.
The event, organized with support from several stakeholders including the local County Government and NGOs such as the Volunteers Service Organization (VSO) was however marred by a remarkable low turnout with many attendants being government officials and children.
“The government has set aside over Sh. 3.5 million to refurbish this facility, but the youth are not even present at an event meant to empower them. The youth must stop crying about lack of resources which we have provided in plenty and grab the available opportunities. I hope this facility will be put into good use and will not be turned into a store,” said Wangusi who represented the PS for Gender and Youth Affairs, Dr. Francis Owino.
By Justus Keesi/Moses Mutiso