Students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko have expressed their dissatisfaction over the current state of some toilets in the school and are calling for a quick response from the management.
Students from different departments narrated their experiences and also expressed their views about what the management should do in addressing the issues raised.
Enoch Abegunde*, a 400 level student of the Plant Science and Bio-technology department noted that his experiences had restrained him from further using the toilets. “I can not even enter that place (SOSSA LT toilet). Everywhere was just littered, even the odour and the environment of the toilet is not palatable at all.”
Enoch reiterated that students’ welfare is in the hands of the management, therefore, he urged (AAUA) management to swift quick action.
“They (school management) are our parents here. They are our fathers and mothers and no parent will want his or her child to use such a place. So, as a child to his parents, I will advise them to seek what they can do about it,” he said.
Akintade Juliet,* a 300-level student of Business Administration also shared her experience of not being good enough. She was pressed and needed to use the restroom but on getting there some toilets were locked and some were not cleaned.
“If I use such a toilet it will affect my health. As a student in class receiving lectures, sometimes you would have to use the restroom but on getting there you couldn’t have access to it. You will be destabilized and won’t be able to continue with the lectures and that affects the learning process.”
“There was a time when I needed to use the toilet and a lecture was going on. I could not concentrate. It was so poor that I had to excuse myself to go home and use the toilet,” she remarked.
Juliet however, advised the management to direct the opening of closed toilets in the school and that runny water should be made available for students to use while the cleaners should also be monitored and be given the materials needed to perform their given tasks.
Another student, Ogungbemi Emmanuel said he had a different experience. He acknowledged how some of the toilets he visited were cleaned but when it was getting to noon time, they got messed up by students because there was no water to use.
“I have been to the toilet behind the PSB building. Sometimes if you go there in the early morning or days of the week; it might still be clean but when it’s 2 pm till dawn, it is already messed up because there is not enough water going in there.”
Emmanuel reaffirmed that some toilets were opened while some were locked for the use of ‘excos’ or the lecturers, but he urged the management to take up strict actions that they can abide by.
“Right from my 100 level days, we’ve complained a lot but nothing has been done till this time. Several internal and external strikes like the ASUU strike have added to these problems too as the school is not stable. The management should take up strict actions that they can abide by,” he noted.
Students Who Had No Options Resort To Open Defecation
According to the World Health Organisation, a study reveals that “poor sanitation is linked to transmission of diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera and dysentery, as well as typhoid, intestinal worm infections and polio. It exacerbates stunting and contributes to the spread of antimicrobial resistance.”
A report also shows that the “absence of decent toilets is believed to be interfering with attendance because students, especially girls, tend to return home to ease themselves during classes, with a high probability of not returning in most cases.”
Olaniyonu Faith*, a student from the Philosophy department also confirmed that most of the toilets she visited were locked and she has noticed several students resort to polluting the school environment because they do not have any other option than to use the open when the toilets are locked.
“Polluting the school environment is uncalled for. We were supposed to make use of the restroom. There should be runny water or at least tissue paper. Most of the time, I hold on till I get home or my friend’s place to use their restroom. It’s not supposed to be.”
“The management should please help our lives by providing water in the restrooms. I don’t think there is a system that monitors how students use the toilets, but the toilet should be managed for us to use, instead of students releasing their excesses in open places,” Faith added.
Another student, Roseline, resorts to littering the environment because they do not always have access to using the toilets.
“I remember a time when I entered one of the toilets at 30CQ, I met one of the cleaners and the cleaner told me I can’t use the toilet, even though it is a student toilet. I kept asking why. So this makes students resort to going to the back of 30CQ to ease themselves at the angles of the buildings which is not good.”
“Although I had a good experience using the toilet around the Quadrangle Industrial Math toilet, the problem is that they are not always opened. I want to urge the school management to evaluate, and know the challenges the cleaners are facing and maybe pay them at due time,” Roseline disclosed.
Students’ Affairs and AAUASU React
The Dean of Student Affairs Unit
The (AAUA) Students Union Vice President, Oluwakemisola Salami (Kemzy) while reacting to the matter said she has not been officially aware of the issue, remarking that maybe the Welfare Director, Mojisola Odole (Voice) would have received complaints. However, she noted that they will carry out research and report to the appropriate quarters.
“As we all know that we have gone through a long period of break. Several things have happened during those 8 months. Frankly speaking, I have not been aware of this. People may have complained to the welfare director.”
“Nevertheless, I will still need to talk to the welfare director because we all have our areas of specialization and our functional duties. We will do our research and look at the toilets at the specific lecture hall that people are complaining about because the toilets in places that I have visited like the Student Union building, and the laboratory where I do receive lectures are functional.”
She added, “We will look into it and tell the appropriate quarters or probably inform the Director of Works and necessary steps will be taken in a short time, we are assuring Nigerian students,” the VP reacted.
Some cleaners also disclosed that they have been working without being paid for the past 6 months and so they had to go on strike as what’s the essence of them going to work and then have nothing to give their family to feed on.
While they noted that the purpose of working is to earn a living, but they keep on working but it looks as if they don’t have source of income because they are not being paid and people see them going to their working place thinking they are okay not knowing the reverse is the case to the extent that they owe people money in order to feed and so they have to embark on the strike to source for a way to meet their needs.
In an interaction with a student who claimed anonymity, she said “as a student who comes for lecture, it is not polite to start sweeping the class and removing cobwebs just to settle down, even as a student we should have a sense of responsibilities and we are supposed to be cautioned not to throw things down but ordinary there should be cleaners, our social amenities for toilet are nothing to write about, I can boldly say their is no toilet in the school because there is no means of washing or flushing the toilet after use also because there are no provisions for water to use, seeing is believing I can say the school is not clean for students well being”.
She added further that the government and the school authority should try and pay up the cleaners because they have families to cater for and also suggested that dustbins could be distributed in all Departments and all lecture halls for easy disposal of dirt.