Background of the Study
Most large Nigeria cities are overcrowded, due to urban attraction and developments such as universities, job opportunities, security and so on. Little controlled urban growth leads to poor management of solid and liquid wastes produced by cities. This leads to many problems of sanitation. The sanitation in these cities is generally dominated by self purification works. They often repress wastewater that trickles down in living quarter streets emitting strong foul odours (Strauss, Downing, Rondon, 1994).
Disease related to poor sanitation and water availability cause many people to die of sickness like cholera, diarrhea, typhoid which damages the body tissues. Children are most vulnerable to health hazards and consequently are affected the most. In 1998, 2.2 million people died because of poor sanitation, which the vast majority were children (WHO, 2004).
There has been considerable awareness of water supply in off-campus hostels, but the problems of excreta and waste disposal have received less attention. In some of these hostels, every where is littered with pure water polythene, pieces of paper and so on, without proper disposal (Erijakpor, 2006). In order to focus attention to these to these problems, sanitation exercises should be done daily to keep the environment clean by employing labourers that will keep the hostels clean(Anyaka, 2004). Some of the students in these hostels have poor sanitary and hygienic practices that can cause diseases. Environments should be fumigated in order to kill dangerous animals and rodents like snakes, rats, scorpions etc.
Inadequate sanitation is a major cause of disease world-wide and improving sanitation is known to have a significant beneficial impact on health both in households, school hostels (on campus or off-campus) and across communities (Guiterez, 1992). The word “sanitation” also refers to the maintenance of hygienic conditions, through services such as garbage collection and wastewater disposal.
Sanitation includes all four of these engineering infrastructure items (even though often only the first one is strongly associated with the term “sanitation”):
- Excreta management systems
- Wastewater management systems
- Solid waste management systems
- Drainage systems for rainwater.(Strauss, 2000).
The term sanitation has been connected to several descriptors so that the terms sustainable sanitation, improved sanitation, unimproved sanitation, ecological sanitation, environmental sanitation, on-site sanitation, dry sanitation are all in use today (Obode, 1989).
Hygiene is very important to healthy living and survival of humanity especially to students in these off-campus hostels where little or no care is given to the sanitary conditions. Hygiene is the practice of keeping one-self and one’s surroundings clean so as to prevent illness or the spread of preventable diseases (Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation and Ministry of Education, 2009).
It is often referred to as the behaviours and measures which are adopted so as to break the chain of transmission of infections both at home and in school. While lack of safe water, sanitation and prevalence of poor hygiene behaviours is the major cause of death among students in developing countries, a contaminated environment and poor hygiene practices account for over 6% of the total burden of disease among students in these countries (UNICEF & WHO, 2009). In some of these off-campuses, there are problems of over crowding and these affects the health of the students in these hostels. More than 50 students share 3 toilets. Mostly girls in hostels have inadequate sanitation facilities, with this premise , the researcher seek to find out the implication of sanitation practices on students health in off-campus hostels in Ugbowo. Inadequate sanitation and water in these hostels jeopardise students health to a large extent (Nouhei, 1991).
Statement of the Problem
Good sanitary practices (cleanliness) they say is next to Godliness. Even with this unique adage, people still take sanitation with levity. This nonchalant attitude has caused the control of pests and waste disposal to be difficult because of poor sanitation practices. Diseases related to poor sanitation and water availability causes many people to die of sickness like cholera, diarrhea, malaria, typhoid which damages the body tissues.
Much is not known of the part the owners of these hostels have contributed in curbing poor sanitary practices, but the fact still remains that he students themselves should put in their best effort to practice good sanitation. In order to effectively tackle this problem, this study will attempt to answer the following questions:
- What are the causes of poor sanitation practices of these off-campus students?
- What are the dangers of poor sanitation practices on the health of these students?
- What are the strategies that could be employed to improve sanitation in these off-campus locations?
- Do the students have a roll to play in these sanitary practices?
- What are the efforts of the managers or owners of these off-campus sites/locations to improve good sanitation practices or curb poor sanitary practices?
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to find out the implications of sanitation practices on off-campus students health in Ugbowo, Benin City.
Specifically this study was to:
- Identify the causes of poor sanitation practices on these students health in Ugbowo vicinity.
- Determine the extent to which the managers/owners of these off-campus sites/locations have contributed in providing facilities that will enhance sanitation practices and efforts of the students in improving sanitation practices.
- Find out the strategies that could be employed to curb dirtiness in these places.
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will enable the students in these off-campuses to better understand and cultivate a clean environment because cleanliness is next o Godliness. The findings will help the students to know the need of hygiene or health practices and also enable them to have a sound health. If sanitation is practiced by the students, sickness and diseases will be reduced.
The findings will also help the managers to provide adequate facilities that enable the users(students) of these places keep their environment clean and tidy. If this is done, it will also help them to improve on he practices.
Delimitation of the Study
The study delimited itself to sanitation practices and its implication on students health on off-campus hostels in Ugbowo, Benin City.
Limitations of the Study
The limitations encountered by the researcher include- non-cooperation from the students, landlords and care-takers of these hostels.
Definition of Terms
- Sanitation: It is the process of keeping places free from dirt, infection, diseases by removing wastes, trash and garbage by cleaning streets, schools and homes.
- Hygiene: Conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing diseases, especially through cleanliness.
- Waste Disposal: Proper disposition of an discarded material in accordance with local environmental guidelines or laws.
- Garbage: Wasted or spoiled foods or materials from or other refuse as from a kitchen or household that one is willing to pay to get rid of.
- Sewage: This is a water-carried waste in solution or suspension, that is intended to be removed from a community.
- Environmental Sanitation: These are activities aimed at improving or maintaining the standard of basic environmental conditions affecting the well-being of people.
- On-site Sanitation: This is a collection and treatment of waste which is deposited where it is done. Examples are he uses of pit latrines and septic tanks.
- Dry Sanitation: It is an on-site disposal method that requires the separation of urine and feces.
- Diseases: A disorder of structure or function in a human, animal or plant, especially one that produces specific signs and symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.
- Sickness: A general term used to refer to physical illness or disease, the feeling of being affected with nausea or vomiting.