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14.10.2002 General News

Landlords Exploiting University Students at Wa

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The relocation of the University for Development Studies (UDS) faculty of Integrated Development Studies from Navrongo in the Upper East Region to Wa in the Upper West Region is creating business especially for landlords at Wa. While some property owners are taking advantage of the situation to expand facilities, others have become exploitative, increasing their rents astronomically to maximise profits. This came to light when the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Wa spoke to residents of most suburbs of Wa to find out the impact of the relocation of the university. The exploitation and extortions have become rife because of lack of accommodation for the over 300 students admitted into the faculty this year. At Kambale, Mangu and Sombo all suburbs of Wa near the University, houses that hitherto were rented between 80,000 cedis and 120,000 cedis per year are now rented between 240,000 cedis and 360,000 cedis because of the influx of the students into the area. The pathetic situation is that most of the houses in these suburbs are without electricity, water and toilet facilities thereby putting students in very awkward positions. As an interim measure, the UDS authorities rented two houses for female and male students while others have also looked for their own accommodation in private houses.

The ladies hostel, which is accommodating over 60 students is not without basic problems as most of the ladies complained that 500,000 cedis per student was not only high but unacceptable because the rate is too high. The ladies complained that four or six students per room was too congested and called for the reduction to three people or reduce the rent from 500,000 cedis to at most 300,000 cedis to make it affordable.

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