A 400 Level student, who did not want his name disclosed said that it is better to defecate in the bushes than using the toilets in the hostel. According to him, the toilets are always messed up, with tissues and some other harder papers are sometimes discarded inside the toilets.
The source attributed the unhealthy environment to lack of adequate water needed to wash and flush the toilets.
However, the situation is better at the University where the school authority engages a private sanitary company for the upkeep of the hostel. The University of Abuja has been a place of attraction for students in Nigeria because the institution is situated at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Many parents even go as far as bribing school officials to secure admissions for their wards. The high expectations of “lucky” freshmen are usually dashed when they find out that the bathrooms and toilets of the university are not in good condition.
One of the students who spoke with our reporter affirmed that most students do not maintain proper hygiene, saying they use the toilets without bothering to flush. Others who refused to mention their names said when the condition of the toilets deteriorate they result to other means. All efforts to speak with the head of students affairs proved abortive.
A lecturer who spoke on condition of anonymity attributed the ugly conditions of the toilet facilities in universities of Abuja to improper usage by the students, adding that most of the students defecate like uncivilized people.
Another female student in Girls hostel, Nzaga Alheri lamented that because the water reticulation system is not functional, a development which made it mandatory for them to always fetch water from the water reservoir facilities, the shower facilities in their bathroom were not functional.
She stated that at the average of four students per room, only about 8,568 students of the university were being housed in the hostels. She stated that there was need for the federal government to support the university to build more hostels since the institution has enough acres for the construction of such facilities. The student population in the university is over 20,000.
There seems to be a competition between the university authorities and private hostel providers over the issue of hostel management as students living in privately owned hostels within and around the university also testify to a clean sanitary system in their hostels.
Perhaps, the university forgot that students who learn good hygiene in school, can also become important health promoters everywhere especially at home. There is no doubt therefore that poor sanitation and its consequences particularly ill-health adversely affects school participation and contributing to poor classroom performance and early school dropout.
An Environmentalist Mr. Kelechi Uzor also said that poor sanitation decreases learning capacity as measured in educational performance, outcomes, and productivity. The lack of appropriate sanitary facilities may discourages students output especially girls, who are menstruating, in particular.
Lastly, the management of University of Abuja should look beyond the Attention of gigantic infrastructures and issuance of honorary degrees in the last convocation rather should deliver quality academic services to the students who they are paid to serve.
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