It’s what’s inside that counts, people say. Apparently, the saying does not apply to the University of Lagos in Akoka, Lagos. First, one would be impressed by the neat architectural and floral design of the building and the environs. However, most of its inner structure is in a horrible state.
The iCampusNG blog has interviewed a number of students who condemned the unwillingness of the university authorities to maintain even basic sanitary measures to help students observe personal hygiene. Specifically, they point to the restrooms and bathrooms housed within the educational facility and the hostels.
The pungent odour, grimy tiles on the constantly floor, filthy spots on the walls, dirty and often broken toilets and washbasins, lack of water make it almost impossible and certainly undesirable for students and staff to use the lavatories.
An anonymous lecturer maintained that the university does not wish for the visitors to see the deplorable shape of restrooms as it would be a blow to their reputation.
Oluwafunmilayo Ogunsuyi, a 300-level Linguistics student, says she got infected a week after moving into Makama Bida hall: “I had to go to the pharmacy and get drugs. Now I have to go home every two weeks to use the toilet because I’m too scared. I can’t risk my health again.”
Ambali Aishat, a 500-level student of Law, confirmed that two of her friends in Moremi hall also had to battle similar infections. “In my five years in this university, I can’t point at a good toilet experience. I don’t blame the students that do ‘shot-put’ [or ‘flying toilets,’ as faeces are often thrown off in the bush or a river in non-biodegradable plastic bags]. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, but the circumstances warrant this. I had to get a potty because I can’t stand the toilets. The only toilet that is okay is the library toilet but I can’t go all the way to the library every time,” she adds.
Eric Seyi, a student residing in Eni Njoku hostel, is worried about the various bacteria that can be found in bathrooms: “There are maggots, spirogyra and other forms of bacteria … When I come into the bathroom, I have to close my eyes and rush out. Looking around at the awful state almost makes me cry. The toilets are cleaned daily but that doesn’t help matters. There is lack of water, the shower heads are not functioning. Really, you can’t spend five minutes in this place without throwing up.”
Rufai Oluwamayowa, a 100-level Geosciences student, says there are not enough restrooms for the students to use. He suggests imposing “strict regulations concerning use and better maintenance” of the facilities.
Indeed, part of the blame for the mess could be placed on the students themselves, as they fail to make appropriate use of the facilities, provoking harsh words from the cleaning staff who have to tidy there daily.
Students Daniel Nwachinemere (King Jaja hall) and Oyegbile Tamilore (Queen Amina hall) say their lavatories are in a relatively better condition but also need a renovation.
It is worth mentioning, however, that a number of restrooms in the news faculties and some hostels are either still functioning properly or have been renovated. Unfortunately, many students still have to endure hardship while tending to their personal samitary needs.
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