The annex campus of Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic, Ijebu Igbo, in Ogun state has existed for seven years without a toilet facility.
The annex which is located in Abusi was ceded to the polytechnic by Olabisi Onabanjo University in 2014.
It is being used for academic activities by students of Mass Communication (OND I- HND II); Business Administration (OND I); Accountancy (OND I); and Banking and finace (OND I) departments.
For seven years the only toilet facility available to students at the annex campus is dilapidated and long abandoned.
This reporter learnt that the toilet had been built even before the annex started operations.
The other toilet available is not open to students but only lecturers and management staffs.
Students have resorted to open defecation as an alternative.
“We use bushes around as an alternative to urinate and defecate,” one of the students, Jide Ogunropo said. “This has been the norm for students studying here at the annex campus.”
Students pay to use toilet on main campus
Meanwhile, it was gathered that students at the institution’s main campus in Ijebu Igbo had a similar experience until 2020, when the management built toilet facilities through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) funding on toilet facilities for students.
However, students are mandated to pay a sum of N100 to defecate and N50 to urinate there. This is said to be “maintainance fee” for the facilities.
Students who spoke with EduCeleb.com lamented over lack of toilets on the campus annex. They argued that the situation does not make learning conducive.
Aina Titilope, an HND II student of Mass Communication expressed her usual frustration whenever nature calls.
“Not having a toilet in my place of learning is not cool in anyway especially to us ladies. We get infected so easily and when I’m in school, I am always scared of getting pressed because I will have to go back home to make use of the toilet. It is not making learning conducive in any way. It is very disheartening not to have a toilet on this campus of Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic. It just feels like the management have abandoned students that are learning at the anex campus”
Another student, James Babatunde, berated the polytechnic management for its nonchalance towards students’ welfare on the campus annex.
“It normally should not even be a subject of discussion. It’s a distasteful topic. How can a whole mini campus of the school have no toilet? The welfare of students is no longer a concern of the school. As a student, if I need to use the toilet during school hours, I will have to go home and come back later. This has been the norm for so long. I doubt if the school care about it,” he said.
A National Diploma one student of Banking and Finance, Ifeoluwa Babalola, expressed dissatisfaction while emphasising on the possibility of getting infected while making use of bushes as alternatives for toilet.
“It’s very disheartening to see there’s no toilet in Abusi. How can there be so many students but no rest room for the students?
“I make us of Pre-infection drugs,” Tosin Rasaq, an Ond1 student of Mass communication said
“Female student have to use pre infection drugs due to lack of toilet in the anex,we have too pee in the bush at times when we are really pressed. I use pre-infection drugs so as not to get infected.”
For Joseph Badmus, a student-Accountant, “It is so bad to hear that an institution that is big enough to have a mini campus does not have toilet in her mini campus that accommodate over 2000 students who pays school fees to the institution. When ordinary Abusi secondary school can have a a standard toilet. In this institution, it all about money without accountability.”
EduCeleb.com gathered that tuition in the Polytechnic ranges from N65,000 to N85,000.
Students risk infectious due to open defecation
Open defecation, which is common on this campus of Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic is injurious to the students and the environment, based on warnings by the World Health Organisation.
In a 2004 report, WHO stated that 88% of diarrhoea disease is accredited to hazardous water supply, derisory sanitation and hygiene and that enhanced water provision reduces diarrhea by between 6% and 25%. Improved sanitation decreases diarrhea by 32%.
This information was maintained by the scientific breakthrough that one gram of feaces can contain 10 million viruses, 1 million bacteria, 1 thousand parasite cysts, and a hundred worm eggs.
Rhoda Robinson, an Health Expert and the Executive Director of Hacey Health Initiative said that access to proper sanitation is a basic human right that contributes to the health and well-being of an individual. She emphasised on the effects of lack of modern sanitation facilities which include the risk of disease contamination, amongst others.
She said, “access to proper sanitation is a basic human rights that contributes to the health and wellbeing of an individual. The preservation of dignity and privacy while accessing sanitation services is recognized by the United Nations General Assembly to be an integral part of assuring this human right. However, more than 100 million Nigerians still lack access to decent toilets and 46 million still practice open defecation.”
“The absence of modern toilet facilities, or any toilet facility at all, increases the risk of disease and contamination. In settings with high populations density such as university dormitories and campus, the importance of having proper sanitation facilities cannot be overemphasized. The risk of the transmission of viral and bacterial pathogens from human faeces to water and food is greatly increased in the absence of toilets and resulting increase in open defaecation. When proper toilets are unavailable or inadequate to meet the needs of the population, students are forced to practice open defaecation and expose themselves to the diseases such as typhoid, cholera, schistosomiasis and hepatitis that can easily be transmitted.”
“There is also the risk of increased psychological stressors as a result of loss of privacy and dignity when there are no sanitation facilities, especially for women. Considering the unique needs of women, especially during their menstrual cycles, the absence of sanitation facilities affects proper menstrual hygiene and multiple health vulnerabilities in the long run.”
“Apart from the obvious threat to their health which can translate to increased cost on healthcare, school absenteeism and chronic conditions, students are further put at risks while searching for where to relieve themselves. Female students who resort to using bushes and obscure places in their need to use a toilet are at a greater risk of sexual assault and violence.”
All efforts to speak to the Rector, Professor Bilesanmi Awoderu was abortive as she failed to respond to messages.
Similarly, the Director of Student Affairs, Mr Otuewu Opeyemi, told this reporter that he isn’t the management and the management should be contacted. He equally failed to give answers to the questions being asked.