Wollega Stadium First Phase 80 Percent Complete
A burial place of Onesimos Nesib – a famous Oromo who pioneered in translating the Bible into Afan Oromo in collaboration with Aster Ganno – the most known supplier of Ethiopian coffee, a host town to the recently built Wollega University, is now getting additional attraction – Wollega Stadium – that will take the town to another height of growth.
The Wollega Stadium boasts of Olympic standard running track and field, FIFA standard football pitch, gymnasium swimming pool, tennis court, basket and volleyball fields.
It as well houses administration offices , a gymnasium, a public library, restaurants, shops and other service facilities such as first aid offices, stores, dressing rooms with massage centres, studios for live transmission, shops and public toilets.
The first phase construction work of the stadium,which was expected to be completed two years back, is now 80 per cent complete.
Asked about the delay in the construction work, Dr.Eng Mesele Haile, Stadium Construction Committee Addis Ababa Branch Chairperson and Designer of the Stadium told The Ethiopian Herald that the construction fund was not effectively raised. That is why it couldn't be completed according to schedule. According to Dr. Eng. Mesele, the participation of the public is high since its inception. “We are constructing the stadium in three phases. The first phase, which includes the construction of bureaus, shops, players' room and gymnasium, is 80 per cent through.
The remaining task,which makes 20 per cent of the first phase, includes the laying of the synthetic track, finishing the shops and setting work of the long jump and discus throwing areas. So far, 108 million birr has been expended on the overall construction work, he added.
According to Dr. Eng. Mesele, the second phase includes seat installation, volleyball and basketball court as well as swimming pool construction, which requires 87 million birr. He also said that the third phase would see covering the roof with fiberglass at a cost of 210 million birr.
Responding to mechanisms they apply to speed up the construction work, Dr. Eng. Melese said that they are trying to raise more funds approaching various organizations to cover the cost. In this regard, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-Amoudi provided 18.6 million birr to the first phase via his company MIDROC-Ethiopia Technology Group. The business tycoon has also promised to give one million USD grant for the fiberglass roofing work.
Regarding the quality of the fiberglass roof and the standard of the football pitch grass, Dr. Eng Mesele said that with Bahir Dar and Hawassa stadiums (both under construction) Wollega Stadium will also become the first fiberglass-roofed stadium in East Africa. The natural grass was brought from Italy. It makes green and white pattern as European football pitches.
Wollega Stadium ,which is expected to have 29,000 seats, was first launched by Dr. Eng. Melese and other few people to protect youth from HIV establishing sports recreational centre. But now, showing impressive progress the former field has been transformed into a stadium capable of hosting international competitions.
Taking his contribution into consideration, the Neqemte Town Administrationhas named one of the main roads in the town after Dr. Eng Melese Haile. He is on his part expressed gratitude to the town administration, especially the residents of Wollega.
Sadly, Wollega does not have at least one football club that would represent the zone either in premier or national leagues. If the stadium does not have a home club that represent it at national level, the case will be similar to like a delicious meal without a person to enjoy.
Regarding this issue, Neqemte Town Youth and Sports Bureau Head Wendimu Taye has something to say. “Currently, the town has a club competing in Oromia league with promising performances that would enable it join the National League next year. He said that the club is leading the group in Oromia League.”
“We plan to join the national league next year. The stadium itself says, 'I need a lot of players!'. We have four youth projects in different age categories. We have teams of under 17,15,13,10 which are supported by the government, Oromia State and Neqemte Town Administration,” said Wendimu.
The Ethiopian Herald learned from Tolossa Wegari, Mayor of Neqemte,that Wollega is striving to establish competent club that can represent all four zones – East Wollega, West Wollega, Qellem Wollega and Horro Guduru Wollega.
The design of the stadium reflects local culture (both tangible and intangible heritages) like Gada system and natural resources of Oromia State. For instance, the design of the Public Library is generated from Oda ree in simplified and abstract form.
The form of the roof is analogous with the deep foliage of fully grown Oda tree; whereas the windows and the walls represent trunk and branches of the tree.
The stadium, with its accompanying facilities being constructed by Oromia Water Works Construction Enterprise on seven hectares of land. Excluding the cost of the fiberglass, the overall construction work is expected to consume 240 million birr.
Source: The Ethiopian Herald