- 06 December 2016
THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW BIUST ACCESS ROAD COMMENCES WITH A GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY
The vision of the Botswana International University of Science and Technology is to be a centre of excellence, a world-class research institution and science, engineering and technology university of choice in the region and African continent.
The construction of a new access road is a major milestone as it will link the University with the Palapye community and the outer world thus making it easier to access the University.
The access road ground breaking ceremony, which was held on the 17th of November, was graced by the presence of different dignitaries like the University Vice Chancellor, Professor Otlogetswe Totolo, Assistant Minister of Basic Education, also Member of Parliament for Palapye, Hon. Moiseraela Goya and the Deputy District Commissioner, Mr. Ernest Phiri just to mention a few.
In his welcome remarks, the University Council Chairperson, Mr Bernard Bolele noted that undertaking projects such as this would enable the University towards attaining the dream of propelling Botswana towards being knowledge based economy instead of a mineral based economy.
“As we are all aware, BIUST is a project of national importance because it is providing what has now become a basic human need, provision of education. We hope that it will mitigate on the need for new knowledge as the country grapples with diversification of the economy away from minerals.” He said.
For his part, the University Vice chancellor, also the project owner, Professor Otlogetswe Totolo stated that the main components of the project comprise of the main access road approximately 4.5 kilometres in length that crosses the main Gaborone-Francistown railway via a level crossing at Khurumela ward.
He further noted that the main access road will be constructed as a single carriageway under this contract but will eventually be upgraded to dual carriageway standard under a future construction contract. The project will also comprise of two internal roads, totalling 1.5 kilometres in length. It will also involve the construction of a gate house and sports change facilities within BIUST. Totolo noted that the project is being constructed under strict safety, health and environmental guidelines contained in a project specific Environmental Management Plan that was approved by the Department of Environmental Affairs.
When giving an overview of BIUST infrastructure, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Finance and Administration, Mr Dawid Katzke stated that BIUST has to date completed some critical infrastructure for teaching and research purposes. He noted that BIUST is currently in the process of procurement of critical projects, namely, 594 bed student hostel blocks, expansion of sewer ponds as part of NDP 10 projects.
BIUST is currently constructing the access road and associated infrastructure at a cost of P 99 million. A total estimated cost of almost P 2 billion was approved through various CAB memos during NDP 10 to fund the above BIUST infrastructure developments. “We are thankful to the government for funding assistance we continue to receive geared towards infrastructure development for the university, the Palapye community for your understanding as we progress such development.” He said
The University Director of Physical Planning and Campus Facilities and Client Representative, Mr. Mpho Mphengula gave a detailed project update, noting that the project commenced on the on the 23rd of August and is expected to be complete by the 29th of August 2017. He presented a road map and noted that the project would not only involve the main road and internal roads but it will also include the construction storm water drains, erection of road signs, road markings and associated road furniture, construction of a gate house, sport changing facilities, ablution blocks and construction of water pipeline from campus to the new gate house. He further mentioned that this project would be undertaken by Rockefeller (Pty) Ltd, a citizen owned company.
When delivering a word of encouragement, the Assistant Minister of Basic Education, Honourable Moiseraela Goya stated that this road construction is very symbolic to the people of Palapye and Botswana as a whole. He noted that BIUST is a world of Science, Technology, Research and discovery and this road will connect the Palapye community to the land of promise.
“BIUST is playing an important role in achieving prosperity by 2036. It is a people centred University because it is for Batswana, built by Batswana, serves Batswana, the SADC region and the world as a whole.” he said.
He further noted that developments such as these are phenomenal because they contribute immensely to the development of Palapye as they contribute towards making Palapye a Town and hopefully a third city of the country. He applauded the BIUST Vice Chancellor for being a visionary leader because this access road will ease the traffic, the movement of people and it is a convenience that the people of Palapye have been yearning for.