|University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State|
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the students made the call when they joined their voices with the Youth Water Sanitation and Hygiene Network in Africa, an NGO, to promote water and sanitation access in Nigeria.
While some complained about inadequate water supply, others said patronising alternative sources of water, such as nearby wells, did not augur well for their health.
The students underscored the importance of sensitisation, improved and affordable methods of water filtering and treatment to end the supply of unwholesome water in campuses.
Miss Lilian Victor, a student of Biochemistry, who spoke with NAN in Abuja on Monday on behalf of the others, said the lack of potable water was a big drawback to the education of the students.
Lilian expressed regret that in spite of the huge funds spent on hostel rents, students living in most privately-owned hostels still lacked water.
She said, “I want to address my own concern relating to those who build hostels for students off the campus and within the campus. They don’t provide water for their students and then they want to benefit from those hostels.
“They increase house rents and everything, but they don’t encourage students staying there.
“After a period of time you see students packing out and they want to go to another hostel. Some can pack out for four times in four years to show that they have lived in four hostels, but there is nothing to show for it.
“You see hostels of N150,000; hostels of N200,000 and then water is not being provided.
“I will like to advise these landlords that when you are building hostels for students and you are making their rents very high give them a reason to appreciate what you are giving them.
“When you see a student lamenting this house is too expensive yet there is no water, there is no light, parents are paying for those houses and some of them go to the extreme to get those kinds of apartments.
“So I think what landlords should do is even if they are not getting support from government or whatever, they should at least provide a link that will help the students to get water.’’ ·
Lilian also stressed that the provision of water would avert incidents such as recorded at the Nasarawa State University in February when students protested over lack of water and electricity, which resulted in the death of four students.
She called for Kwara State Government’s intervention and collaboration with landlords in the provision of water to attract youths to the study centre.
“When it comes to the issue of providing water, even the government in Kwara State has water tankers that provide water for them but the water goes to certain strategic places, they don’t go to the place of focus.
“Meanwhile their main target there is youths, students and the attraction there is the university but yet they don’t make things available for the students.
“I would say it’s not really encouraging young ones and helping them to protect themselves against di”I believe the government of Kwara State should also work hand in hand with the private landlords in providing water for their students so that as they get water, they will be able to use it for so many things.
“It could also encourage them because we know generally the light is very bad.
“But you see students say even if we don’t have light, let us have water so even if they don’t have light and they have water they are satisfied.’’