December 1, 2016 By Joseph S. Margai
Project Manager for the BADEA project has disclosed that the hostels at Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone, would not be ready by January 2017 because donors have failed to release the 10 percent advance payment for the rehabilitation work.
While updating Concord Times about the progress of the project, Sorie Kanu said they had hoped the hostels would be available to students by January 2017, but that it would no longer go according to plan.
“It’s not possible to meet the target date for completing the rehabilitation of the hostels for students before the commencement of the new academic year. This is because we need an additional period of five months to complete the rehabilitation. We are on it but the reality is that they will not be available as we had proposed,” he said.
“The contractors started the implementation of the project in August, 2016 and we have made several requests from the donors to pay their 10 percent, but to no avail,” he stated.
Meanwhile, a third year student at the Department of Mass Communication, Abdulai Sesay, expressed frustration over the development, describing it as unfortunate that the university authorities have not done much to address the accommodation problem of students, more than five years since the hostels were vacated to make way for rehabilitation.
“I am living in Waterloo and sometimes I have to pay close to Le15, 000 every day to and from classes. Now that the transport fare has been increased, I may have to double that amount and that would be very difficult for me. The economic hardship, coupled with the burden at FBC, is hitting me. I really don’t know how to cope with this situation come January, 2017,” he lamented.
A student of the Department of Law, Faculty of Social Science, Allieu Turay said: “I stay at Goderich and used to spend over Le10, 000 to and from classes. The recent increment in transport fare will make me spend more than that amount on a daily basis.”
He called on the university authorities to pay attention to the rehabilitation of the hostels so that students would return to campus.
Also, Augusta Kai-Samba of the Department of Social Work said she hails from Kailahun district in the eastern region of Sierra Leone and that she is currently sharing a single room will a friend at Wellington.
“We were hoping that the hostels should have been completed before the commencement of the academic year.
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It is news to me that we will not occupy them come January, 2017. If the news is true, it would be an embarrassment for us. My parents are poor farmers who have been struggling to pay my fees. I have been taking care of my feeding and transport fare and with the recent increment, it will be very difficult for me,” she said.