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MPs Decry Terrible State At Makerere Halls Of Residence

A section of lawmakers on Parliament’s Education Committee have expressed concern over the poor living conditions in the halls of residence at Makerere University, saying these have exposed the female students to a cocktail of infections that have put the students’ health at risk.

The Legislators raised these concerns during a meeting held between the Committee and officials of Makerere University who had appeared to defend the Shs8Bn Supplementary Budget that the University wants to carry out renovations at Lumumba and Mary Stuart Halls.

First to raise complaints was Emmanuel Ongiertho (Jonam County) who lashed out at the University for waiting for three years to carry out the renovations, yet three years ago, the female students staged a strike protesting the poor sanitation at the halls of residence and the University only managed to secure funding through a supplementary funding after that long.

He said the renovations are required in all halls of residence remarking, “I am surprised and very bitter because 3years ago, there was a serious strike at the University, and as a Committee, we had to deal with that situation. And particularly for the girls, their main problem was that in their halls of residency, their toilets were terrible. These girls were getting infections now and then. Good enough, Makerere University has become good at muzzling students and I am happy they have remained suffering quietly until this time.”

John Twesigye, Chairperson Education Committee tasked the University to come up with sustainable means of managing the halls of residencies, saying the habit of seeking funding from taxpayers to finance the renovations isn’t sustainable.

“These Universities especially Makerere University, you have to tell us what plans at the end of the day that once these halls of residence are renovated, don’t go back to ruins because they should have sustainability plans of how these halls can be sustained, not every time running to Government,” he said.

Yusuf Kiranda, University Secretary at Makerere University admitted that the renovations are required in all students halls of residency and the University has provided all bills of quantities for all the renovation works and the University is feedback on funding to continue works started, because the procurement process for Lumumba and Mary Stuart Halls has started.

“We have been managing, trying to maintain the students residency amidst the constraints of the development budget of the University and the priorities have been sanitation and the roofs to ensure that the buildings don’t leak and electrical works. What is now happening is the comprehensive renovation, we are calling it the total overhaul such that by the time the current renovation of Lumumba Hall is finished, it will be as good as new,” said Kiranda.

Responding to questions on the sustainable measures the University to limit reliance on taxpayers money for these renovations, Kiranda said the University is trying to ensure that students can still access affordable accommodation facilities but also reduce on the overload on these halls of residency because they were constructed initially for very small numbers but because the numbers have gone up, this has intensified breakdown of facilities.

“The University is seeking for Public-Private Partnership which will create an opportunity for expanding the number of students’ halls of residency at the University which is expected to reduce the load at the current residences,” he said.


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