By Special Correspondent, CMU
As the University of Dar es Salaam announced some changes in its Directorate of Estate Services (DES) this week, it has outlined specific plans to improve efficiency in the provision of such facilities in all campuses.
A press release by the University Communication and Marketing Unit on 27 April 2023, stated that the Vice Chancellor, Prof. William Anangisye has appointed Eng. Benedict T. Chilla, to the position of Acting Director of Estates Services taking over from Dr. Eradius Rwakarehe (outgoing Director of Estate Services).
Eng. Chilla, who, before this appointment, was the Coordinator of Estates Services in the same Directorate, is expected to lead the maintenance, development, and improvement of the University's physical facilities and infrastructure in all campuses.
Speaking about the appointment, the Deputy Vice Chancellor- Planning, Finance and Administration, Prof. Bernadeta Killian commended the previous DES Director for the significant work done and insisted that these changes are in line with the University management’s commitment to improve Estates service delivery to the University community and other stakeholders.
“Through its investment in human and financial resources, the University is aimed at ensuring that its campuses have conducive and inspiring environment for learning, research and public service. Estates Officers should make sure that they are providing required service in an efficient, quick and effective manner”, said Prof. Killian.
Prof. Killian insisted that the new Acting Director of Estate Services is expected to work diligently and address all related challenges and complaints from the stakeholders. “He should be cooperative in serving the University community; and, on the other hand, we urge the University community and stakeholders to provide all the necessary support to the Estates officers in their day-to-day activities”.
Eng. Chilla is a Principal Laboratory Engineer I in the Department of Structural and Construction Engineering in the College of Engineering and Technology (CoET) and a Registered Engineer with the Engineers Registration Board of Tanzania.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (UDSM) and a Masters of Science in Energy and Environmental Technologies (Porsgrunn-Norway). He has received extensive training and professional experience in Tanzania and abroad in real estates, housing and engineering management. Eng. Chilla brings extensive experience in the estates management, and he has worked in various positions in the field for over 20 years. Before joining the University, Eng. Chilla served as the Manager of Research and Development (2016 – 2019), and Head of Building Materials Laboratory (2008 – 2016) at the National Housing Building Research Agency.
In his recent position as the Coordinator of Estate Services, he assisted the former Director to oversee the development of a large-scale campus expansion project, which involved construction of new buildings and renovation of existing facilities.
In his new role, Eng. Chilla would be developing and implementing the UDSM's long-term estate management plan, as well as overseeing the daily operations of the estates team. These include managing budgets, assigning tasks, and delegating responsibilities to ensure that all university buildings, water and electricity infrastructure and other facilities are well-maintained and meet health and safety requirements.
In addition, Eng. Chilla will facilitate the construction and renovation projects, working closely with contractors and ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations. He will collaborate with academic and administrative departments to assess and meet their facilities’ needs, and manage relationships with external stakeholders such as suppliers, regulatory bodies and other stakeholders.
Meanwhile, Eng. Chilla said he was honored to be appointed as the Acting Director of Estates Services at this prestigious higher learning institution in Tanzania and he looks forward to working with colleagues for the betterment of the University.
“I will offer my expertise and experience to ensure that the University infrastructure is well-maintained, sustainable, and modernized to support the academic and research mission of the University", he said.