Makerere indoor Arena construction stalls, what next?

Makerere indoor Arena construction stalls, what next?

By Emmanuel Sekago

With the construction of the Makerere Indoor Arena hitting a snag, stakeholders are left pondering the next steps in this ambitious project.

The suspension of construction has raised concerns about the timeline for completion and the overall feasibility of the endeavor.

The Makerere Indoor arena how it looks now 2024

Initially touted as a groundbreaking development set to bolster Makerere University’s sporting infrastructure, the Indoor Arena promised to provide state-of-the-art facilities for various indoor sports and events.

However, delays in construction have cast a shadow over these aspirations, prompting a reassessment of the project’s trajectory.

Key stakeholders, including university officials, construction contractors, and government representatives, are now faced with the challenge of addressing the underlying issues that have contributed to the stall in construction.

The Makere Indoor Arena surrounded by iron sheets fence

Whether it be funding constraints, logistical hurdles, or regulatory setbacks, identifying and mitigating these obstacles is crucial to revitalizing momentum and realizing the vision of the Indoor Arena.

In the interim, interim measures may be explored to ensure that existing sporting activities and events are not unduly disrupted.

Alternative venues and facilities could be utilized to accommodate the diverse needs of athletes and enthusiasts while efforts to revitalize the Indoor Arena project continue.

Furthermore, robust communication and transparency among stakeholders are essential to fostering trust and collaboration in navigating the complexities of construction projects of this magnitude.

Regular updates and consultations with relevant parties can help manage expectations and rally support for the ongoing efforts to revive the Indoor Arena initiative.

As the construction stall serves as a sobering reminder of the challenges inherent in large-scale development projects, it also presents an opportunity for reflection and strategic planning. By learning from past setbacks and leveraging collective expertise, stakeholders can chart a course forward that ensures the timely completion and success of the Makerere Indoor Arena, solidifying its status as a beacon of sporting excellence for generations to come.

According to our sources, the first and second phases of construction have been successfully executed, but the project has hit a standstill due to a lack of funds for the third and final phases.

Sources say if they fail to realize the UGX 2 billion shillings, they will look for at least UGX 600 million shillings to work on the plumbing, electrical, and completing the floor, as they continue to seek more funds. We are now in the start of the seventh year, the Arena has been under construction since it was hurriedly constructed by the UPDF Engineering Brigade to host the World University Games where Uganda emerged the champions beating South Africa.

The government allocated UGX 5.57 billion for the facility under the condition that the UPDF Engineering Brigade would oversee construction, but UGX 3.5 billion were utilized for civil works, UGX 1.4 billion for steel works, and UGX 600 million for mechanical architectural designs, electrical works, access roads, and landscaping.

Peninah Kabenge, the head of sports and recreation at Makerere University said they also faced challenges with the change of designs after the International University Sports Federation-FISU games because of the expansion of the sitting capacity from 1,500 to 3,000, which took some time to get the necessary approvals.

The Uganda Netball federation in 2022, secured the bid to host the African Netball Championship 2023, with Makerere Arena expected to be completed in 2023.

However, they failed to at least have an international Arena before the date and the government said it was not ready thus leading the Federation to lose its hosting rights and the competition was held in Gaborone, Botswana where Zambia emerged champions and Uganda failing to travel and compete.

It should be noted that Makerere Arena was seen as a beacon of hope for the sorry state of Uganda’s sports Infrastructure which only relies on the MTN Indoor stadium in Lugogo which was also recently declared unfit to host International events and this year it was given to Summa a Turkish construction company mandated to upgrade the facility into a modern sports centre.

However, last year, Some Opposition Members of parliament expressed doubts about the Government’s commitment to redevelop Lugogo, citing past examples where the Government gave out land to investors for redevelopment, only for the said investors to end up taking over the land after failing to honour terms in the agreement, the team that was lead by Bukomansimbi South member of parliament also the Shadow Minister for Sports; Kayemba Ssolo called for the full disclosure of the agreement signed between Government and the Turkish Investor.

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