Management at the University of Zambia (UNZA)says rehabilitation works at the institution are still in progress and are soon to be completed.
UNZA Public Relations Manager, Damaseke Chibale told the Lusaka Star that the institution had done most of the rehabilitation works in the most affected areas to prevent a possible cholera outbreak.
He said about 80 to 90 percent of the ongoing works have been done and are expected to finish by the end of April.
Mr. Chibale said that since the cholera outbreak which led to the closure of the institution, management had released K1,000,000.00 and received K2,000,000.00 more from the Ministry of Higher Education to cater for the rehabilitation works.
“Water supply in particular was a challenge to rooms on second and third floor of some hostels. This however, called for investigations on the water system and it was discovered that some pipes were eroded as they were laid in the 1970s and had rust,” he said.
Mr. Chibale explained that the major pipes were laid on roots of the trees that are around the university and some were uprooted and replaced with new ones.
He said extra tanks were also put up to improve the water supply in the old residents particularly Africa hostels and some booster pump stations have also been put in place to improve water supply to the higher hostels.
Mr. Chibale also said in order to ensure that the water being supplied to the students has the quality that meets the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization standard, the online chlorinators have been put in place.
“Online chlorinators are devices that put the correct dosage of chlorine into the water that riches the students in the hostels,” he said.
He added that management has also worked on damaged shower heads, sinks, cisterns, toilet pans, doors, pad locks and glass pains in some hostels in order to see that the rooms were secure including students’ properties.
Mr. Chibale mentioned that the rehabilitation works are being done with the help of Zambia Army who sent plumbers and civil engineers so that the works could move quickly.
He went on to state that the maximum number of students that should occupy a room is four and that if there are students that are more than four in a room, management would take serious actions through the Dean of Student Affairs (DOSA).
Mr. Chibale further stated that other actions taken are to ensure that vending activities are not allowed in the premises of the institution.
“So all the ladies and gentlemen that were vending here at UNZA have been moved out and it is going to be permanent,” said Mr. Chibale.
He also appealed to the students to cooperate and follow the measures put in place so that there are no unfortunate incidents which may lead to the closure of the institution.
“UNZA has also doubled the number of maids and cleaners to effectively promote hygiene and public health in both the hostels and other premises around the institution,” he said.
However, due to lack of funds, the rehabilitation works will be done in phases and the most affected areas are critical, Mr.Chibale stated.
This follows the closure of The University of Zambia as a preventive measure during the outbreak of Cholera epidemic early this year.