It is a regular phenomenon that most parents are not able to provide the first meal for their children because they leave home early for work. The children end up patronizing the municipal food vendors including road sellers, mobile food vendors on bicycle, bukateria, hawkers etc. They are often located around school premises and often various food items varying from complete meals, part meals, snacks and drinks are sold. Most foods are prepared in unsanitary conditions before being brought for sale in: school.
All these contribute to the incidence of food borne diseases
which further impoverishes the school children. Diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, dysentery and food poisoning continue to affect the children.
The safe disposal of human faeces is a prerequisite to protecting health in the absence of sanitary toilet facilities. A number of major diseases are transmitted through physical pollution of the school environment. The excreta disposal status in most schools and colleges in the country is below expectation. Most schools, particularly in the rural areas, have no access to adequate sanitation facilities. Those that have are in dilapidated conditions which make it difficult for children to use.
Most Federal Government Colleges are provided with water carriage system toilet. These toilets depend on regular supply of water to function effectively but the inadequate water supply results in an ugly situation where students engage in indiscriminate defecation in corners of classrooms thereby attracting flies and odour nuisance. A survey carried out reveals a lack of proper education on the safe use of water carriage system of toilets and the subsequent use of various hard objects for cleaning which eventually causes blockage.
Lack of adequate functional sanitation facilities in schools diminishes the motivation of children for school attendance, especia1ly girls. In addition, recurrent sanitation- related illnesses lead to school absenteeism, which in turn affects learning, development and achievement of affected school children.
It is therefore imperative that adequate and functional toilets for boys and girls are provided in school. The water carriage system be complemented with ventilated, improved pit latrines (IPL) which does not use water for flushing. #####