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Acorn suspends USIU hostel construction after accident


Acorn-owned hostels in Nairobi’s Ruaraka. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Student hostels developer Acorn Holding has temporarily suspended construction at its project near the United States International University Africa (USIU-Africa after two fatalities in a site accident on Monday.

Two other labourers suffered injuries, with construction now put on hold for four weeks until investigations into the incident are completed.

“They are casual labourers who had come to look for employment from the contractor, who is in control and possession of the construction site until completion and handover to Acorn. Preliminary indications are that it will take not more than four weeks to complete investigations and reopen the site,” Acorn Holdings told the Business Daily.

“The property is 70 percent complete. At the time of the incident, we had completed the super-structure which is the most tedious and time-consuming phase of the project and we still expect the project to be completed within the current programme."

Acorn, known for their purpose-built students hostel brands Qwetu and Qejani, expects that the Sh740 million Qwetu 4 USIU-Africa hostels will be completed in May 2021.

It charges between Sh15,000 and Sh16,500 for a room on the premium Qwetu brand, and between Sh7,500 to Sh12,500 under the Qejani brand.

Already, it has four completed projects under the Qwetu brand in Ruaraka, Parklands, Jogoo Road and Madaraka, with a combined capacity of 1,570 rooms, with another seven in development and pre-development stages.

The firm last month quoted its two Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) products worth Sh7.5 billion at the Nairobi Securities Exchange’s (NSE) recently opened unquoted securities platform.