The reconstruction of the Madina-Zongo pitch is going on smoothly despite the early onset of rains in the capital. Formerly a dusty patch of earth, the new-look pitch will now boast a well-laid artificial pitch that will be available year-long, as well as changing and washrooms for playing and officiating staff.
The Madina-Zongo park project is sponsored by the Ministry of Zongo and Inner City headed by Hon Boniface. Scheduled to be completed within three months of commencement, the project is housed on a preexisting football pitch dubbed the Zurak Park.
Recent visit to the site indicated the changing rooms were almost done, with roofing completed and the walls all but plastered. Six floodlights have been installed along the fenced pitch. Towering on steady poles high above ground level, the six installations come with six lights each. The availability of lighting is an important addition to the project as it will allow games to be held late in the evening. Where possible, entire tournaments that will last the whole day can be hosted on the ground without trouble.
The biggest aspect of the Madina-Zongo park seems to be the wall guarding the playing area. Aside the wire fencing that separates the spectator stands from the players, a larger, higher brick wall has been created to protect the edifice. This will go a long way to keep encroachers off the ground, and also provide avenue for gate fee collection to boost the coffers of the local community as well as the district.
The reconstruction project covers both the former Zurak playing field as well as adjacent pitches that were once suited for five-asides. It is not clear what will become of those extra spaces or whether they will be used solely for parking vehicles and equipment. With the amount of space available, it would be important that future developments include courts for other sports like basketball, volley ball, and other sports that do not require a larger space.
That said, the reconstruction project is an important development for the local community and the district at large. It will imperative on the community and the ministry to ensure its maintenance in order to prolong its useful life. This will ensure good value for money and also a ready, accessible platform for the youth to express and exploit their potentials.
The project is close to completion. Labourers are currently spreading gravel over the ground before the carpet will be finally laid over it. The spectator stands have been raised as well, leaving just enough to be done to ensure the place is ready for its inaugural games.
Massive appreciation goes to the originators of the plan and the executioners all. May the benefits be rich and many!