Senior Business Reporter
The Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) has engaged the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) to carry out an environmental and social impact assessment on the proposed construction of a 1 000-roomed The student’s complex, which is in the planning stages, is estimated to cost at least US$30 million.
The proposed project site is on a seven hectare piece of land located within Lupane Local Board’s area of jurisdiction owned by the bank.
It is located about four kilometres from the university.
In a notice the bank said, according to the Environment Management Act (Cap 20:27) a project of such a magnitude requires an environmental and social impact assessment to be carried out.
“Although the proposed construction project has immense potential positive impacts, that include provision of students and staff accommodation, employment creation for men and women, and the creation of community infrastructure, it has some immediate negative environmental and social impacts which include vegetation clearance, noise, dust, waste generation, and surface and groundwater contamination.
“Mitigation measures will include the sprinkling of water on roads to minimise dust, equipment fitted with mufflers and ensuring that clearance of vegetation is confined to the project site only,” reads part of the notice.
In a financial statement for the half-year ending June 2022, IDBZ chief executive officer, Mr Thomas Sakala, said by the end of the half-year, the bank had commenced work on raising project implementation finance for the Lupane Students Accommodation Complex project with US$17,9 million targeted.
The past two decades have recorded a surge in the enrolment at universities and the current number is estimated to be more than 70 000, with only 11 000 having accommodation provided by the institutions.
The Government has called for increased investment in the learning space, accommodation facilities, recreational and other supporting facilities.
The main objective of the accommodation projects is to provide student accommodation at four of Zimbabwe’s eleven State universities contributing to the social well-being of staff and students.
The development is a critical intervention of the Second Republic that has been lauded for its efforts towards alleviating the plight of students and staff by providing secure and affordable accommodation facilities which are conducive for effective teaching and learning.
The bank was established through the IDBZ Act (Chapter 24:14) to champion sustainable infrastructure development in Zimbabwe through mobilisation of resources, capacity building, knowledge generation and sharing in support of national efforts for inclusive socio-economic development.