Varsity Students Resort To Baby Buckets For Defecation Authorities Shift Blame

As campaigns against open defecation in the country hots up, female students at the Rivers State University (RSU) and Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAU) have decried the palpable condition of toilet facilities in their institutions.

The Vortex  reporter who visited some of the hostels at  RSU spoke with some female students who lamented the poor state of toilet facilities in the hostels. Worse hit among the hostels at RSU according to a 300 level student who gave her name as Miss Maureen, is the NDDC hostel.

According to her, the NDDC hostel used to be the most sought after female hostel in RSU but students residing on a section of the hostel have been going through hell as a result of the none functioning water facilities in the building.

Another 300 level former resident of the hostel, who simply gave her name as Jane told The Vortex that she was forced to vacate the hostel as a result of the deplorable condition at the top floor of the building.

She complained that the water borehole which supply water to the top floor had broken down, adding that nothing seemed being done to remedy the situation.

 “Students residing in that section of the hostel usually go down stairs to fetch water to flush the toilets and for other sanitary services. “Students had on several occasions fallen while climbing the stairs with buckets of water on their head. The situation is simply a mess;” she declared.

Miss Ubong, who also resides in the hostel regretted that the authorities of the school had not taken action on the situation.

 “We have some residents of the hostel who are handicapped and they need help to get water from downstairs. Our toilets are smelling, the pipes carrying water to the building are leaking and we don’t know when it will be remedied,” she explained.

Ubong said “most students no longer use the toilet to defecate but make use of small buckets (baby buckets) and dispose into the broken toilets because “we don’t want to contact infectious diseases”.

However, some students residing at Hostel B and C, who spoke to The Vortex said they have no problem with sanitary facilities in their hostels. Two of the female residents of hostel B and C said the hostel facilities are in excellent condition and issues of infrastructure crises does not arise.

When contacted, Head of Information Unit of the RSU, Dr. Harcourt Whyte debunked the claims by the students, saying the students were out to raise allegations against the institution to satisfy their selfish interest.

Whyte said the institution is presently constructing more hostels to accommodate more students, stressing that the NDDC building which the students complain about is one of the best hostels in the school and promised to visit the hostels to ascertain the authenticity of the complaints.

At the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, students who spoke to our reporter said the toilet facilities in the hostels were inadequate, stressing that most students usually made use baby buckets or the nearby bushes to ease bowel pressures.

Meg, a student in one of the hostels said the possession of baby buckets by ladies in the institution has became necessary, “to ensure that you can even poo or urinate inside your own room whenever you are pressed and cannot easily access the toilets.”

“Most times, the condition of the toilets can be scary. It may be there is no water to flush it, or it is occupied and you are under pressure. We need more facilities in this school because of the amount of fees we pay to remain in school hostels, “she stated.  

Tunde Uchegbuo of the Public Relations Department of IAUE spoke to The Vortex blamed the students.

He said students fail to adhere to instructions given by the school authorities and were themselves responsible for the damages and rot in the facilities they are complaining about adding that they misuse the facilities and turn around to blame the school authorities.

 “He however told The Vortex that the institution has witnessed vast infrastructural development under the present Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mercury Ndimele adding that more hostels were being constructed for the students.

Uchegbuo also disclosed that one of the most modern hostel building was recently built and donated to the school by pastor David Ibieyeomie of Salvation Ministries, Port Harcourt.

The hostel is on the verge of being allocated to students and we hope they will not mess it up and complain about it later,” Mr. Ichegbu said.

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