Donation pledges, in cash and kind, towards restoring Mzuzu University (Mzuni) library services have hit about $1.9 million (K1.4 billion), a gesture the university says has greatly improved operations at the school.
Speaking in Mzuzu yesterday after Imperial College of London donated books worth K26 219 960, Mzuni vice-chancellor Robert Ridley said the university is making progress in restocking the library.
The Mzuni library was gutted by a fire in December 2015 and property, including the structure itself, worth about K6 billion was destroyed. About 50 000 books, furniture and equipment, including information and communications technology (ICT) equipment were lost in the fire.
Ridley said so far about $1.9 million donations have been made to the university.
He commended Imperial College for the donation of the books, saying it will help the university meet the number of books lost in the fire but also stock more.
Ridley said the university has so far received about 40 000 books and the figure is not far from the number that was lost in the fire.
Imperial College representative Joe Ghallagher said a library is a cornerstone for the university and for Mzuni to lose a library it was a big blow to the institution. He said when universities face such challenges it is only proper that other institutions come in to bail out the affected institution.
Mzuni spokesperson Chigo Gondwe-Chokani said the university still has a long way to go in restocking the Malawian section. She said Malawian books are hard to source and she called on well-wishers, including authors of the books to help in equipping the library with local publications. n