THE shortage of accommodation at most of the institutions of higher learning in Lusaka has continued to be a major challenge for students, with many houses around the colleges being converted into boarding houses but at exorbitant rental charges.
Hazel Mwiinga, a second-year student at Evelyn Hone College, who is lodging at a boarding house near Intercity bus terminus, lamented that students were being exploited as they were charged a lot of money by landlords.
She complained that the cheapest bed space was pegged at between K700 and K1,500.
“The only cheapest boarding house is one going for K700 per month. The rest are too expensive, but what do you do when you are coming from another province and you don’t have any relatives in Lusaka where you can stay? You have no option but to live with it,” she said. A third-year student from the University of Zambia (UNZA) Kelvin Kabwe observed that some boarding houses were so crowded, hence making it difficult for students to study.
He noted that a three bedrooms boarding house in Kalingalinga was accommodating about 30 students, which he described as unhygienic.
“You would find that over 30 students are living in one house, which is so unhealthy and sometimes the ventilation is so poor because of too many people. It becomes very difficult to study in such an environment,” Mr Kabwe said.
He called on Government to come up with a policy that would protect students living in boarding houses.
Most students who are not accommodated in their various college campuses are faced with challenges of finding rented apartments in residential places nearer to their learning institutions as they were too expensive.
The students have appealed to Government to look into the matter so that students were not exploited through high fees.