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Laikipia University faces hostel crisis

The elevation of Laikipia University College (Kenya) to a fully-fledged university in February, has caused a hostel crisis.

 

The university is the only university in the region serving residents of various counties such as Isiolo, Laikipia, Samburu and Nyandarua.

But as the university opened its doors to the first batch of students last Monday, a hostel crisis has erupted forcing some students to sleep in hotels as they look for accommodation.

Some of them are yet to find accommodation and are still being hosted in hotels in Nyahururu town.

The situation has been made worse by the high number of students who have been admitted to the newly inaugurated university. At least 1,700 new students have been admitted this semester alone.

Low-end lodging

For Julius Murimi, the last four days have been some of the worst moments in his entire school-going life despite longing to join university, he says.

He has been forced to seek accommodation at a hotel in town and is also sharing a bed with his schoolmate Joseph Wambua.

Murimi says they had no option but to look for a low-end lodging as they continue scouting for rental houses. “In a day, we spend Sh500 for accommodation, food excluded. This is expensive but we do not have an option,” he laments.

To make matters worse, he says they have not been able to attend classes because their priority is to get accommodation.

“We have been moving from one estate to another in search of houses. We have not been able to attend classes since we spend our days searching for a hostel,” he said. And to their dismay, Wambua says the only hostels available are at Manguo Estate where they will be forced to part with Sh80 daily as bus fare to campus.

Mary Karimi, another student says the students’ only hope is tied to the completion of hostels coming up in the Karuga area some few kilometres from the school. Beyond that, they may have to wait for those who are in their final year of study to finish school in November.

 

“It is terrible and something needs to be done to address this issue. Students will miss out on their core business which is studying when we have to worry about where to stay,” she says.

According to deputy vice-chancellor Prof Isaac Kosgey, the enrolment was higher than it was while still affiliated to Egerton University and usually admitted less than a thousand students.

“There is a crisis in accommodating all the students here and that is why we are advising them to seek for accommodation outside the institution,” he says.

Prof Kosgey adds that the university is collaborating with neighbouring investors who are putting up hostels. “It was on a first come first served basis since not all of them could fit in the university hostels,” he admits.

An estate valuer Mr Nderitu Mureithi approximated the number of students who lacked accommodation to be over 1,000.

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