Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Makerere University is seeking an extra two Billion Shillings to complete the Multipurpose Sports Arena.
Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe told URN that while the first and second phases of construction have been successfully executed, the project has hit a standstill due to a lack of funds for the third and final phases.
Nawangwe said that if they fail to realize the two billion shillings, they will look for at least 600 million shillings to work on the plumbing, electrical, and completing the floor, as they continue to seek more funds.
For six years now, the Arena has been under construction since it was hurriedly constructed by the UPDF Engineering Brigade to host the World University Games.
The government allocated 5.57 billion shillings for the facility under the condition that the UPDF Engineering Brigade would oversee construction. Of this amount, 3.5 billion shillings were utilized for civil works, 1.4 billion for steel works, and 600 million for mechanical architectural designs, electrical works, access roads, and landscaping.
Then, the UPDF Engineering Brigade decorated the unfinished facility with huge banners to cover the un-plastered walls to enable the tournament to take place. The organizers provided tents, which acted as changing rooms for the players, and also erected mobile toilets.
The facility is expected to have a pavilion, stadium, offices, washrooms, parking lot, and access roads. Despite this, the International University Sports Federation-FISU cleared the facility to host the games.
In an earlier interview with URN, 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.
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.
In 2022, Uganda Netball secured the bid to host the African Netball Championship, 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.