Resident Engineer

Resident Engineer is a unit in the Registrars Department responsible for Infrastructure construction and maintenance. The unit was formerly known as Estate Organization. It encompassed more sections than current; the name was changed around the 1990’s to suit the functions being covered by the unit.

From the time it was formed it has been headed by Mr. Anktell, Mr. B. Chiweza, Mr. Subramanian, Mr. S.Mwape, Mr. Ian Banda, Mr. G.Sibanyama and Mr Mervin Mwansa who is the incumbent Resident Engineer.

The head office is located behind the old student’s residences in President big flat opposite the UNZA CLINIC Laboratory. The head office houses the Resident Engineer, Deputy Resident Engineer, Senior Administrative officer, financial officer and other Management staff assisting the office with Daily operations. The head of the unit is the Resident Engineer.

Role of the Unit in the University

Learning and Research for undergraduate, post graduate and academic staff depends on the provision of necessary learning and teaching environment. Resident or non resident students and staff of the university all make use of the buildings and services under which they live, learn and work.

Our picture of sound learning and teaching environment means the provision of quality residential and academic facilities free from wear and tear and defects or faults that may disrupt learning, teaching and research. The resident engineer’s unit is  must therefore  co-exist to support academic and research programmes. Some of the major functions are the supply and distribution of safe water, distributions of power, Disposal of sewer effluent.

The existence of this support for the provision of uninterrupted academic life justifies the role of the Resident Engineer.


The original or earlier approved establishment figures for personnel have been trimmed over time, what is remaining is a skeleton staff with little meat to keep its posture. This year 2009 the numbers of qualified tradesmen will reduce as more go into retirement.
The short fall is covered by casual workers in all the sections.

Filling of vacant positions is very slow as the financial constraint still haunts the department.

The units’ infrastructure 

Support is inevitable we need to keep the systems running to keep staff and students in the large campus area free from cholera and related diseases. Modernisation has its own problems as load shedding and flunctuations in power supply has side effects on our pumps and machines.

Water Supply on Campus 

We are 50%-80% self sufficient in water supply as Lusaka water is always handy when borehole water levels dwindle. Supply of water to tall buildings and highly populated residences is by high pressure. (The pictures below show the pressure pump with vessel, water reservoir and chlorinator house). Water quality is maintained by chlorination every day. A modern Chlorination house with four chlorinators. Tests for feacal coliform and residual chlorine are done every fortnight in rainy season and monthly in dry season.

The water network is a loop network more than 10km long with water distributed about the campus from north, center and southern 150mm AC and 100mm AC or GI and 75mm or PVC or AC or GI mains pipe. The internal pipes networks are mainly 15-100 mm GI pipes.

The aging ring main is a nightmare to the students and staff who need water for domestic and academic purposes 24hrs a day. The water network requires an overhaul especially the northern line parallel Chancellors Drive where frequent pipe bursts have been recorded. A solution for frequent pipe bursts requires urgent intervention by management and responsible unit.

Power Supply

The University has 17 power Substations with power ratings ranging from 50 to 1000 KVA .The power reticulation network stretches several km in the earth from one substation to another. ZESCO TRAINED the UNZA personnel to man these high voltage distribution points.  Therefore we handle and service distribution substations including some work on transformers .Our men are on 24 hour standby to ensure that the community has power. The University has the responsibility to fund service components to power Substations and Feeder Pillars. Work on internal fittings is what is on high demand as the rate of wear and tear is very high. Performance levels are dependent on replenishment material supplies.  

Sewer Disposal

The sewer generated by more than 10,000 UNZA populations has to find its way to a disposal pond near garden compound. This apart from water and power supply distribution exposes the unit to lot of pressure as mechanical pumps are responsible for transfer of sewer from deeper levels to the surface and vice versa in that circle and sewer reaches final disposal point. 

Stormwater Disposal

Insignificant in the eyes of many but easily noticed when roads become impassable. High costs for Road repairs result when storm water disposal is given little or no attention. The responsibility for storm water drainage is shared with Horticultural department which is under Dean of Students. Most of the storm water collected from the campus is channeled to GOMA LAKES.

Refuse Disposal

Refuse composed of waste matter from offices and students residences is collected by cleaning companies contracted to dispose to gazzetted sites, however we are partners with Dean of Student in ensuring that the Campus is kept clean by offering technical support.

Special Projects

Category 1 government funded contracted with client participation

  • Palisade fence around campus
  • Wall fence around campus
  • Students Hostels at site 4 near veterinary hostels

Category 2 UNZA funded projects contracted with client participation

  • Students hostel at site 3
  • Chemistry roof
  • Upper dining roof
  • Uppermost dining roof
  • Water supply borehole- reservoir pipe line
  • School of education offices extension

Category 3 UNZA funded Resident Engineer’s projects

  • Kafue Hostels false roof
  • Other smaller projects in schools supported by the unit 
resident engineer