BY GABRIEL WARURU
There has been a crisis at Murang’a University of Science and Technology as students have been forced to look for residential rooms off the campus. The institution which was a constituent college of Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT) has a population of about 3000 students.
It became impossible to accommodate the students after the recent September 2016 intake that saw more than 1200 new students enrolled. The school hostels can currently accommodate only about 600 students who are mainly females.This accounts for less than half of the first year students who usually get the first priority in the allocation of hostels. The rest of the students have no choice but to live in rental houses around the school or as far as Murang’a town.
Speaking during the orientation ceremony, the principal Professor Nyariki confirmed that the institution was in the process of setting up more hostels that would help reduce the crisis. He added that with the collaboration of locals and private investors, they will join hands in an attempt to resolve the current situation.
As well, the institution is in the process of increasing it,s population to about 10000 with time and thus the increased need for more halls of residence. This was followed by the recent initiative by the president to award a charter to the university college among other institutions.This will translate to high numbers of student intake.With this,most of the landlords have taken advantage of the situation and hiked the monthly charges. They currently charge between Ksh. 2500- 6000.
However,the situation has opened up opportunities for willing investors who are able to set up buildings with 100% surety that once they are complete, students will be rushing to occupy them. Also the locals seem to be liking the situation as new small businesses that range from hotels to ‘vibandas’ have been set up in order to cater for the increasing needs of the students. Talking to some of the students, they say that they would be glad if more hostels around or within the school were built. This will enable them cut on the costs of transport as some are forced to use motorbikes(bodaboda) on a daily basis to commute to the institution. With the minimum charges being Ksh. 50 ,this amounts to Ksh. 1500 a month which would otherwise be spent in a more economical way.
Additionally,those who reside far away from the campus are denied ample time to be within the school environment which is suitable for them in various constructive ways such as research due to the availability and easy access to the Internet. Hoping that the crisis will have a quick and long term solution for the sake of the comrades welfare.