The University of Zambia (UNZA) has spent K1 million on repair and rehabilitation works at its two campuses in order to meet the set standards on public health and warrant the re-opening of Zambia’s biggest institution of higher learning by the month-end of February 2018.
UNZA Registrar, Mr Sitali Wamundila, disclosed this during the media briefing on Tuesday, 13th February 2018 at the Great East Road campus, Senate Chamber.
Mr Wamundila said that the rehabilitation works included the following areas:
1. Rehabilitation of the ablution blocks
2. Mending of the water leakages and
3. General improvement of the water supply
He said that the state of the University infrastructure required huge financial and human resource investment to fully rehabilitate it. The infrastructure was developed in the late 1960s. It was noted that inadequate funds had hampered the progress of the rehabilitation works.
Mr Wamundila has assured the students and members of the public that the University would be ready to open by the end of February in view of the massive works so far done.
During the question and answer session, Mr Wamundila reiterated that UNZA Management would allow squatting at its two campuses in line with its policy on accommodation and Ministerial directive.
He refuted assertions that the rehabilitation works would lead to increases in tuition fees. However, he indicated that the 2017/18 Academic calendar had been affected and Senate would sit to adjust it accordingly.
FULL PRESS STATEMENT
FOLLOWING THE CLOSURE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA ON 5TH JANUARY 2018 BY GOVERNMENT DUE TO CHOLERA OUTBREAK IN THE COUNTRY, THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA WAS ROUTINELY INSPECTED BY THE PUBLIC HEALTH INSPECTORS FROM LUSAKA CITY COUNCIL ON 2ND AND 3RD JANUARY 2018. THE INSPECTION WAS MEANT TO ASSESS THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE UNIVERSITY COMPLIED WITH STANDARD PUBLIC HEALTH REQUIREMENTS FOR LEARNING INSTITUTIONS. FOLLOWING THE INSPECTIONS, A REPORT WAS PRODUCED WITH DETAILED AREAS THAT REQUIRED ATTENTION. SINCE THEN, THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA MANAGEMENT HAS BEEN WORKING TIRELESSLY TO ENSURE THAT THE INSTITUTION MEET THE STANDARDS SET BY THE HEALTH INSPECTORS WITH A VIEW TO ENSURING THAT THE INSTITUTION RE-OPENS.
THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA MANAGEMENT, THEREFORE, WISHES TO NOTIFY THE GENERAL PUBLIC ON THE STATUS OF THE INSTITUTION ON THIS MATTER.
FROM THE TIME THE UNIVERSITY WAS CLOSED, THE FOLLOWING WORKS HAVE BEEN UNDERTAKEN AND ARE STILL IN PROGRESS:
1. REHABILITATION OF THE ABLUTION BLOCKS;
2. MENDING OF THE WATER LEAKAGES; AND
3. THE GENERAL IMPROVEMENT OF THE WATER SUPPLY
DURING THIS PERIOD, THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION HAS BEEN VISITING THE UNIVERSITY TO INSPECT THE STATE OF THE INSTITUTION (HOSTELS, ABLUTION BLOCKS AND THE SURROUNDINGS IN GENERAL). ALL THE VISITATIONS HAVE BEEN FOR PURPOSES OF ASSESSING THE READINESS OF THE INSTITUTION FOR RE-OPENING. THE HON. MINISTER VISITED THE GREAT EAST ROAD AND RIDGEWAY CAMPUSES ON 25TH JANUARY 2018 AND 30TH JANUARY 2018 RESPECTIVELY.
THE INSTITUTION HAS ALSO HAD VISITATIONS MADE BY THE PUBLIC HEALTH INSPECTORS FROM THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND LUSAKA CITY COUNCIL. THE INSPECTORS VISITED THE INSTITUTION ON 2ND JANUARY 2018, 26TH JANUARY 2018 AND 8TH FEBRUARY 2018.
DURING THESE INSPECTIONS, IT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED THAT, WHILE THE ENVIRONMENT HAS BEEN GENERALLY CLEANED, THE STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY INFRASTRUCTURE STILL REQUIRES GREAT IMPROVEMENT. HOWEVER, TO ACHIEVE THIS, A LOT OF FINANCIAL AND HUMAN RESOURCES ARE REQUIRED. SO FAR, THE UNIVERSITY HAS CHANNELED ABOUT K1,000,000.00 TOWARDS THE WORKS. HOWEVER, THE LACK OF ADEQUATE FINANCIAL AND HUMAN RESOURCES HAS GREATLY HAMPERED PROGRESS OF THE REHABILITATION WORKS.
THE PUBLIC MAY WISH TO KNOW THAT THE UNIVERSITY WAS BUILT OVER 50 YEARS AGO AND, THEREFORE, MOST OF ITS INFRASTRUCTURE REQUIRES MASSIVE REHABILITATION. FURTHER, THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA BEING THE LARGEST UNIVERSITY IN THE COUNTRY IN TERM OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND STUDENT NUMBERS, THE AMOUNT OF WORKS REQUIRES TO BEEN DONE ARE MASSIVE.
NOTWITHSTANDING, IT IS HOPED THAT THE INSTITUTION WILL MEET THE STANDARDS SET BY THE INSPECTORS WHEN THEY VISIT THE INSTITUTION FOR FURTHER INSPECTIONS TO WARRANT THE RE-OPENING OF THE UNIVERSITY BY THE END OF FEBRUARY 2018.
IN ORDER TO KEEP THE NATION INFORMED AT ALL TIMES, MANAGEMENT SHALL ISSUE ANOTHER PRESS STATEMENT TOWARDS THE END OF FEBRUARY 2018.
MANAGEMENT WISHES TO INFORM THE GENERAL PUBLIC ACCORDINGLY.
13TH FEBRUARY 2018.