Students are People Too By Godfirst Faith.

“After admission na accommodation”. Yes.                                                                                     Here’s a question though: what happens when accommodation becomes anomalous? What happens when you live in a place and your environment seems to persecute you?

In UNIZIK, where almost 70% of the student population stay in Ifite and Amansea, it is not a funny situation. Aside the fact that the cost of accommodation is incredibly high, most house owners begin and complete building hostels with little or no consideration for the welfare of the would-be tenants. Substandard materials are used in the construction of these hostels resulting into unpleasant experiences for the inhabitants.

On the 8th day of February this year, in a hostel off campus, a UNIZIK student’s room caught fire. Power was restored and the hostelite, a male student of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences who had just changed the fuse in his room, locked the room and left to an undisclosed destination. He returned to an ugly scene of charred remains of virtually every valuable item. Laptop, fridge, plasma TV, air conditioner, books, clothes, curtains, name it… Everything that could get burnt, got burnt. Concerned neighbors only noticed that a room on the top floor was on fire when thick clouds of smoke descended upon the hostel. With concerted efforts, the fire was put off before it spread to other rooms on the top floor.

“Why the fire?” Faulty electrical connection, inferior wires. One act of negligence, multiple losses, painful experience.

If it isn’t fire, it is water. Wells are the major source of water supply in Ifite and Amansea, and poor water supply is as common as air. Most of the wells are shallow, poorly dug and only function during rainy seasons. Students have to labour to get water from other hostels or nearby streams depending on the location of their respective hostels. Sandra, 300 level student of Mass Communication department complained that the hostel where she resides had a poor waste disposal system. Waste water was no longer properly disposed because the soak-away needed repairs urgently. Again, complaints were made to the appropriate authorities but the status quo remains unchanged. What is particularly inhumane is the fact that most hostel owners increase rents arbitrarily without addressing these issues arising. This ugly trend has to stop. Students are people too and humans with a right to conducive accommodation.

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