May 9, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
BADEA Project Manager, Sorie Kanu ,has told Concord Times in an exclusive interview that encroachers on Fourah Bay College (FBC) land were still posing a major challenge to the ongoing rehabilitation and expansion of facilities on campus.
It could be recalled that the rehabilitation and expansion of facilities on FBC campus being funded by the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), has been faced with stiff resistance from some alleged illegal occupants of the land along the Leicester and Tree Planting communities.
The encroachers have constructed dwelling houses, health, community and market centres on the land, where the BADEA project contractors intend to construct both the junior staff quarters and the clinic.
Meanwhile, the BADEA Project Manager said the site that has been identified for the construction of the junior staff quarters and the clinic was still being controlled by encroachers.
“These encroachers are mainly occupants of Leicester and Tree Planting communities. We only now need state intervention in order to ask them to quit the land and make way for this development,” he said.
Besides the obstruction caused by residents of both Leicester and Tree Planting communities, construction and rehabilitation works on the hostels were still in progress, according to Kanu.
He disclosed that rehabilitation work on the hostels was 95 percent complete, as the tiling, cabling, painting, and plumbing were completed, remaining the finish work which has been held up because of the unavailability of glasses in shops to make the windows.
“The contractors have made an order for the glass in Senegal and hopefully, we will soon finish with the hostels,” he said.
The BADEA Project Manager also disclosed that blocks 33, 34 and 35 have been completed, while the female hostels were very close to completion.
“Construction works have started on the senior staff quarters, the lecture theatres, and the School of Architecture,” he said.
He said the major stumbling block remained the unavailability of classrooms for lectures, as they prepare to rehabilitate the existing classrooms on campus.
“We are making efforts to ensure that the hostels are completed on time, so that the rooms can be used for lectures as temporal measures until the classrooms are rehabilitated,” he said.
Mr. Kanu said they have decided to install individual prepaid meters for every room, so that students would be paying for what they consume, noting that the college administration would be providing some EDSA top ups for the prepaid meters.