Norway calls for prudent use of Luanar hostel funds
Norwegian Ambassador to Malawi Kikkan Haugen has urged all stakeholders to ensure that funds meant for the construction of hostels and other projects at Lilongwe University of Agriculture (Luanar) serve their purpose.
He made the remarks in Lilongwe on Monday during the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of a proposed 212- bed female students’ hostel at the University.
“The Norwegian government believes in zero-tolerance to corruption. The construction sector is one of the areas prone to corruption. I hope the Ministry of Finance will monitor how resources are being used,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Education, Vincent Ghambi, said government has put in place measures that will ensure that money for the project is not abused.
“The Ministry of Finance is there to monitor so that the money serves its intended purpose,” he said.
Ghambi earlier expressed gratitude to the Norwegian Government for funding the project.
“Our universities have a big problem of accommodation. The construction of this hostel will ease the problem. It will particularly assist students from poor backgrounds who cannot easily find decent accommodation,” Ghambi said.
The hostel is one of the projects being implemented under a grant of $10 million from the Norwegian government to Luanar’s Infrastructure Development Programme (IDP).
Some of the money will be used to construct teaching and learning facilities, rehabilitation of existing learning blocks and improvement of water and sanitation facilities.
Luanar Board chairperson Professor James Seyani highlighted the extent of accommodation problems the University is facing.
“It is very deplorable to note that only 30 percent of our female students are accommodated by the University, while the rest find their own accommodation in and around the University. The situation in various private places that our female students are seeking leaves a lot to be desired. This is exacerbated by the fact that Luanar is geographically far from Lilongwe City,” Seyani said.
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