“The toilets are in poor condition and some of these girls claimed to have contracted toilet infections while using the toilet.”
On Wednesday the 3rd of June, the occupants of the Ekiti State University female hostel came out to decry the poor state of living, hygiene and sanitation as well as the dilapidated structures and overcrowding they experience while living in the hostels.
The expressions on their faces spoke volume as they narrated their ordeals.
In an interview, a student of Biochemistry who has lived in the hostel for over three academic sessions, content with different experiences from lack of security, electricity to poor hygiene and water supply.
The student who pleaded to be anonymous, however, laid emphasis on how poor hygiene and sanitation of the hostel exposes occupants to varying health concerns most notably, water-related skin infections and other communicable diseases as a result of overcrowding.
She explained: “Our counterparts in the male hostel enjoy life better than us here. Their environment there is well accommodating and conducive.”
Another female student, Akinola Opeyemi who lived in the hostel during the 2016/2017 and 2017/18 academic sessions, revealed that the rooms are quite small and congested to house six students.
According to her: “The hostel environment is very dirty. Even though the cleaners come to do their chores, the dirt is beyond them. The toilets are in poor condition and some of these girls claimed to have contracted toilet infections while using the toilet,” she added.
Opeyemi, however, cited an incident that led to her resolve to move out of the school hostel.
“Some time ago, soldier-ants invaded the hostel and I was on my bunk around 3:00 am when an ant stung me. I thought it was a mosquito so, I killed it and continued my sleep. Then, later my roommate got up and saw soldier-ants on my bed. She shouted and the shock made me fall from my bunk. For two weeks, everyone at the hostel couldn’t sleep comfortably.” she narrated.
“The bad drainage, sewage system, water from the bathroom and kitchen and other waste go directly to the front of the rooms and remain stagnant. This could amount to inviting others insects.”
Another occupant, Olajide Tomilola revealed that there is no leadership structure among the occupants: “There is no cooperation and nobody is ready to take part in cleaning of the toilets and the environment. So, most times I take my bath outside.”
To verify these claims, this reporter went to the porter’s lodge to ask questions. Unfortunately, the reporter was unable to speak with anyone as the porter on duty refused to talk.
In an effort to compare the standard of living in the female hostel and the male hostel, it was revealed that the state of the male hostel is much better than the female hostel. Here, the level of sanitation is better, the structure is newer as well as more spacious and there is a presence of security personnel.
However, in an attempt to confirm the position of the University’s management regarding the claims of the students, a call was placed to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Development, Prof. Wale Olajide.
The DVC, who spoke on the University management’s commitment to the welfare, health and safety for all students, revealed that the situation had been brought to his notice a few weeks ago but the directorates under his jurisdiction are yet to receive a formal report concerning the claims.
He, however, suggested the situation be relayed to the Directorate of Student Affairs as he believed these challenges cannot be resolved without engaging other directorates in the institution.
In a bid to shed light on these claims, the Directorate of Student Affairs was also contacted in an attempt to find out whether or not they were aware of the deplorable state of the female hostel.
Attempts to get through to the Dean of Student’s Affairs on the state of the hostel were futile as phone calls and WhatsApp messages were not taken and responded to.
The deteriorating halls of residence is a particular concern of many top universities in Nigeria. It is even worse among state universities where most have failed to prioritise the need to provide decent accommodation as they increase figures of students intake.
Ekiti State University is among the few state-owned institutions with provisions to accommodate students within the campus, but as older structures deteriorate, will the management prioritise the rehabilitation and construction of its halls of residence?
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