Assessment of Water Supply and Toilet Facilities in Selected Primary Schools of Kolo Creek Area, South-South Nigeria

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International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VII, Issue XII, December 2020 | ISSN 2321–2705

Assessment of Water Supply and Toilet Facilities in Selected Primary Schools of Kolo Creek Area, South-South Nigeria

Ojukwu, Chijioke K and Chukwu-Okeah, Gift O
Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria 

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Abstract:-The importance of adequate water supply and toilet facilities to good hygiene practices that leads to healthy individuals cannot be overemphasized especially for primary school pupils in rural communities. This study therefore assessed water supply and toilet facilities in selected primary schools in Kolo creek area of Nigeria. The cross sectional research method was used for this study. A total of 25 public primary schools were identified in the study area of which 16 schools representing 60% of the identified schools were sampled. 184 copies of questionnaires were administered to teachers of the sampled schools while focal group discussions were also held with the school pupils and some teachers of the sampled schools. The data collected were analysed using tables while the stated hypothesis for the study was tested using the chi-square statistical tool. The result showed that 75.5% of teachers in the study area were educated to the bachelor’s degree level and 85.16% have 10 years’ experience and over. The two major sources of water in the study area are river (30.9%) and borehole (30%). However, 75% of the respondents stated that daily water requirement in the study area is insufficient while 96.7% stated that there is a prevalence of water supply challenge. Pit latrine is the common type of toilet facility used in the study area. While 56.6% of the respondents stated that toilet facilities are not available, 75% stated that the functionality of the toilet facility is not adequate. The Chi-square calculated value of 13.96 being greater than the critical value of 3.481 rejected the null hypothesis therefore confirming that there is a relationship between toilet facility availability and functionality of the toilet facility. The study concluded that there is a prevalence of water supply and requirement challenge in the study area. Most of the available toilet facilities in the study area are not functional and therefore not adequate. These challenges pose great health risk to the pupils thereby impacting academic and extracurricular activities of the schools in the study area. It is therefore recommended that local authorities ensure provision, maintenance and regular inspection of water supply and toilet facilities in schools especially in rural communities to improve hygiene and ultimately academic performance. Regular hygiene education by stakeholders will create awareness and help break the cycle of diseases in the study area.

Keywords: Water supply; Toilet facilities; Primary schools; Kolo creek; Availability; Risk

Introduction

Environmental sanitation, safe and adequate water supply with good hygiene practices promotes the health of people and communities by breaking the cycle of diseases. However, unsafe and inadequate water supply, poor sanitation and hygiene practices have become a burden to developing countries (WHO 2004) including Nigeria.
Breaking the cycle of diseases require a holistic approach by all stakeholders through sanitation interventions measures like regular environmental cleanliness, cleanliness of toilets, sewage and drainage systems, good hygiene behaviours and effective education especially in schools.
School children deserve the right to safe and adequate water supply facilities including functional toilet facilities to ensure healthy living and full participation in academic and extra-curricular activities. Diarrhoea caused by polluted water, poor hygiene and sanitation kills an estimated 11 children in every 1000 for children less than five years each year in Nigeria. (WaterAid, 2016)