By Enacy Mapakame
The Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) is now working on project preparation for the multi-million dollar development of a five block student accommodation facilities at Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT).
The project is part of initiatives to reduce accommodation woes faced by students in state universities as well as other institutions of higher learning in the country. The CUT student accommodation complex entails the construction of five student hostel blocks with a base bed capacity of 1 512 students inclusive of extension existing services to new facilities.
Currently, CUT has a student enrolment of 7 359 against a capacity of 10 499 students. Out of this, only 1 200 students are accommodated at on-campus accommodation facilities leaving an excess demand of 6 159 beds.
According to IDBZ, the complex will comprise a combination of three four-storey buildings covering a total area of 18 000 square metres.
As part of initial stages towards development of the project, IDBZ is now scouting for consulting firms to do Environmental and Social Impact Assessment studies for the project.
“The main objective of the consulting services is to conduct an environmental and social impact assessment study for the proposed accommodation facility in order to ensure that the project is implemented in environmentally and socially sustainable manner, and in full compliance with both the Zimbabwe
legal and regulatory requirements,” said IDBZ in a notice.
The impact assessment should also help analyse the potential impacts in terms of structures’ magnitude, extent, duration and significance as well as undertake comprehensive gender inclusive stakeholder consultation exercise that addresses interest and expectations of affected persons.
CUT was established in 2001. Like other institutions of higher learning in Zimbabwe, the university battles accommodation challenges for both students and staff.
Government has recognised the dire situation and undertaken to ease the problem.
As the infrastructure bank, IDBZ is spearheading financing initiatives for university student accommodation projects across the country’s universities.
The university student accommodation project is expected to ease accommodation challenges at state universities such as the National Science and Technology (NUST), Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE), Chinhoyi University of Technology, Great Zimbabwe University and Lupane State University.
On completion, the project is expected to provide accommodation for 6 412 students, a move that will cut student accommodation woes by 22 percent countrywide.
Already the bank has made significant progress in Bulawayo with student accommodation expected to reach 80 percent completion by year end.
In the half year to June 30, 2019, IDBZ raised $2,98 million for financing some ongoing projects among them the Kariba and Hwange housing projects as it forges ahead with meeting its mandate.