There was joy among students, residents, and businessmen and women of Ayeduase, a satellite community of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) when president of Unity Hall also known as CONTI, Yusif Mohammed Nazir opened a 3.5-metre metal footbridge to replace a collapse wooden lad at the area.
For months, students and road users of the Ayeduase-KNUST road have gone through hell having to ply the rout due to collapsed Wooden Bridge linking the university and the community. The structure had become a death trap, posing danger to users of the road.
The over one thousand cedis footbridge was acquired through the effort and initiative of the yet-to-contest KNUST SRC presidential aspirant.
It is intended to aid in the free movement of residents of the area including students to and from lectures.
Speaking in an interview with Rawgist.com shortly after the commissioning, Yusif Nazi expressed his motivation for providing the footbridge.
According to him, he shares in the plight of students whose lives have been unbearable plying that route daily for lectures.
“I realized this was a serious problem that most of the students have been complaining about for a very long time and nothing has been done about it so as a concerned student and leader I felt like it has gotten to a time that student leaders did more to serve their people. We need to set these examples for school authorities to see that we’re making effort to solve some of the biggest problems we have as students who reside outside campus,” he said.
President of the University Hall, Katanga, Mohammed Kataba who assisted in the commissioning of the project also called on other students leaders to emulate and implement more of such initiatives to help address the numerous concerns of students leaving outside KNUST campus.
“I have always been concerned about issues affecting students as a student leader. I’m very much impressed about how far Nazir has gone with this initiative by using his own money – this is impressive!. It lies on us as student leaders to learn from this, we need to use the little resources that we have, we have to be able to contribute to impact our community,” he expressed.
On his part as the Member of the KNUST Student Parliament for the Ayeduase Constituency, Victor Ampofo expressed disappointment in a construction work which has been left unattended for a long time, making it unbearable for students who ply that route daily for lectures.
According to him, several students have been complaining about the collapsed wooden lab. “Initially when the construction work started, we all thought it was going to be completed soon, but the project has since not been completed. We have been complaining to the SRC parliamentary Council for some time now until the MP for the Oforikrom Constituency, Dr. Emmanuel Marfo reassured us that the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly was going to complete the project by 2019.
KNUST STUDENTS LEAVING OUTSIDE CAMPUS
Currently, the total students population in KNUST stands at about 54,145. The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has over the last decade been facing a big challenge of housing its students. Over half (70 %) of the student populace of KNUST reside outside its campus.
These students are often faced with security challenges and poor road networks the link communities such as Kotei, Ayeduase, Bomso among others to KNUST.
What several people find even more troubling is that administrators and management of the University are well aware of this challenge but continually admit students beyond its intake.
It has been the University’s policy that all first year students (including foreign students) be housed on campus. However, this policy has become impracticable due to the number of student intake and some administrators of GUSSS Hostel (Brunei) would rather favour a foreign students over Ghanaian students since foreign students pay higher school fees and residential fees (actually in dollars).
This practice has forced some first year students and several continuing students, especially Ghanaian students to seek accommodation off campus.