1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Sanitation is the sanitary method of maintaining health by avoiding human contact with waste dangers and treating and properly disposing of sewage or waste water. Inadequate sanitation creates dangers that can be physical, microbiological, biological, or chemical pathogens. Human and animal excreta, solid waste, home waste water (sewage or greywater), industrial waste, and agricultural wastes are all examples of waste that can cause health concerns. Due to urban appeal, the majority of African cities are congested (Strauss 2000). Inadequately regulated urban expansion results in inadequate management of the solid and liquid waste generated by cities. This results in a slew of sanitary issues. In these cities, sanitation is mainly controlled by self-purification operations. They frequently restrict waste-water that trickles down into residential streets, generating pungent aromas (Strauss 2000).
Sanitation, as defined by the World Health Organization WHO (2012), is the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and feces. Sanitation also refers to the upkeep of sanitary conditions, such as garbage collection and waste-water disposal. Poor sanitation, which has long been associated with Africans, has a detrimental effect on the health of those who live in close proximity to the environment. Inadequate sanitation in schools is a significant risk to students’ health. Many schools, particularly rural schools, lacked latrines altogether, and those that did have latrines lacked separate facilities for male and female students. Lack of toilets, particularly separate toilets for girls, was identified as the worst aspect of the female student experience. This demonstrates that poor sanitation is one of the unique conditions that prevent female students from achieving their full potential in school and, in some cases, forcing them to drop out (WHO 2012).
According to Akpan, (2019), following the recent implementation of the universal primary education policy, the student-to-toilet facility ratio has decreased, which also discourages female students from missing class. According to updated morbidity figures, diarrhea, worm infection, eye and skin disease accounted for 25.5% of all outpatient visits to health centers, while malaria (another disease associated with poor sanitation) accounted for an additional 35.5%. (ie a total of 59 percent of all outpatient visit are accounted for by poor sanitation). The country continues to have one of the highest rates of nutritional stunting in Africa, which is partly due to the high incidence of diarrhea caused by poor sanitation.
The rate of inadequate sanitation in secondary schools in local government areas has increased in recent years as a result of several factors impeding adequate sanitation service within the school location. In the majority of secondary schools in the local governments region, poor sanitation allows for the development of a variety of infections; there is an abundance of garbage and excrement for flies to nest on, as well as dangerous water to drink, wash with, or swim in. In tropical and sub-tropical areas, disease ranks second in terms of public health importance to malaria among human parasites (Akpan, 2019).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Poor sanitary conditions in secondary schools in local government areas have increased the risk to pupils’ health. Despite increased awareness of the dangers of inadequate sanitation in school environments, the problem has remained. Only a few studies have been conducted to determine the scope of the problem in schools. Thus, this research endeavors to address the threat of environmental contamination. Investment in environmental safety is a critical problem that requires quick attention in order to prevent illness transmission among schoolchildren. It is therefore reasonable and acceptable to guarantee that all sanitation facilities in schools are utilized in order to alleviate poor sanitary conditions in schools in Awka South local government area (Adeoye, 2011).
Thus, the study’s central question is: What are the variables that contribute to inadequate sanitation in schools? Is it true that inadequate cleanliness in schools contributes to infection among students? What are the hazards associated with inadequate sanitation in schools? The research examines the inadequate sanitary conditions in secondary schools in Odukpani LGA of Cross River State.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The broad objective of this study is to examine the causes, effects, and corrective measures for poor sanitary condition in certain secondary schools. Specifically, other objectives of the study are:
i. To examine the extent of poor sanitation in secondary schools.
ii. To determine whether poor sanitation leads to spread of infection among students in secondary school.
iii. To examine the causes of poor sanitation in secondary schools.
iv. To proffer solutions to the causes of poor sanitation in secondary schools.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following questions will be answered in this study:
i. To what extent of poor sanitation in secondary schools?
ii. Does poor sanitation leads to spread of infection among students in secondary school?
iii. What are the causes of poor sanitation in secondary schools?
iv. What are the solutions to the causes of poor sanitation in secondary schools?