The Sh.58million Lunga Lunga Technical and Vocational Training College in Kwale County has been lying idle since its construction two years ago because of lack of students.
Members of the County Development Implementation and Coordination Committee (CDICC) led by the County Commissioner (CC), Karuku Ngumo were shocked to find empty classrooms and multi-million state-of-the-art equipment gathering dust at the college during a project inspection tour in Lunga Lunga Sub-county.
The committee expressed disappointment at the state of affairs at the facility in which the government had invested heavily.
Members also expressed concerns about the security of the equipment fearing the machines stand the risk of being stolen or vandalised since the one-storey college building has no fence and is located in an isolated part of the county in Godo village, Kasemeni sub-location.
Already sections of the yet to be used building are already wearing off with water leakage from the roof clearly noticeable suggesting shoddy construction work.
Last year, the government posted a Principal to the institute, Kombo Malau, to oversee the operationalisation of the facility but his efforts are yet to bear fruit as a board of management is yet to be constituted.
Like a commander without an army, the principal has neither students nor teaching staff to manage but is hopeful that his plan to have the college running will come to fruition.
“We have excellent facilities but no students to take up the courses offered here. I however believe we will make it with support from government and other stakeholders,” Malau, told the committee.
He is optimistic that his dream of seeing the facility take off will come true and added that recruitment of six instructors is underway and will be followed up by a rigorous student enrolment campaign.
Malau admits the college lacks in basic amenities like water and electricity among others which might jeopardize enrolment in the absence of an enabling learning environment.
Though electricity has been extended to the college it is yet to be connected and the Kenya Power and the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) firms were directed to expedite the process by the committee.
Ngumo and a director from the President’s Delivery Unit, Eliud Lipararei said everything possible must be done to ensure the facility is functional to save it from degenerating into a white elephant.
The CC appealed to the Constituency Development Committee to consider sponsoring students willing to join the college to undertake craft courses.
“This huge investment by the government cannot be allowed to waste away and it is only prudent to ensure it is operational to help the local youth gain useful skills through the training programmes it is meant to offer,” he said.
“As a committee, we will help where we can while critical issues concerning the facility will be escalated to higher levels of government for intervention,” he added.
Ngumo said the college is expected to improve the lives of many local youth who do not make the grade to join universities and middle-level colleges by equipping them with skills to enable them be self employed.
By James Muchai