Water shortage delays Unitech start to March 1

Lae News, Normal

THE University of Technology yesterday clarified a statement by the student representative council president Justin Herepe that students were “abandoned” when they arrived on campus to register this week and are now looking for places to live.
The university administration said the academic year had been delayed to next week because of lack of adequate water supply amid a resurgence of cholera in Lae city.
“The decision had ramifications on student registration and room allocation,” it said in a statement.
Acting vice-chancellor Wilson Tovirika said the decision of the academic board to defer the start of the academic year by one week was approved by the university council and “still stands”.
The new registration dates are Feb 22 to Feb 26. Lectures will start on March 1.
Room allocations were deferred from Feb 10 to Feb 17.
“Students eligible for accommodation should be on campus from this date to get their rooms,” Mr Tovirika said.
“The university administration did not just abandon students that arrived early to the campus, as claimed by the SRC president,” he said.
“Since last weekend, the administration has provided temporary lodging for students that had travelled in from other provinces, or had genuine reasons.
“Not all that arrived early sought temporary accommodation on campus.
“A head-count on Monday night recorded 177 students.
“Of those, there were 25 women, who were allocated rooms in the Lawi Si Andu lodge while male students, numbering 152, were allocated eight lodges.”
Mr Tovirika said these included 18 students from Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, who were allocated rooms in the international village, also on campus.
Food rations had also been approved and supplied to the students temporarily accommodated on campus.
From tomorrow, the dining hall would re-open, starting with dinner.
“Although water supply has been restored, the problem continues when there are power outages,” Mr Tovirika said.
“The Unitech campus is the first to run dry every time there is a power outage in Lae city.
“Water supply problems led to the decision to defer the start of the academic year by a week.”