Dirty toilets, clogged sinks, broken beer bottles are all not uncommon at The University of Zambia (UNZA) main campus during the weekends. The task of making the campus clean and safe lies in the hands of UNZA “maids”, who have for a long time called for a behaviour change in students regarding their hygiene and well-being, especially during the weekends.
The University of Zambia students union (UNZASU) Academic Affairs Secretary Cornelius Daka said the Union has a project underway to mitigate the poor sanitation and litter problem.
“UNZASU is currently undertaking a project whose objective is making UNZA a litter free environment. The upcoming project is aimed at building the image of the university by promoting student participation in making sure their hostels are clean with or without the UNZA maids’ help.”
Daka further said this project will also sensitize students to make use of rubbish bins around campus, emulating a similar project by the school of education which has proven to be a success. The success of this project relies on the cooperation of the student.
Meanwhile, one UNZA maid, Jennifer, complained as she mopped what appeared to be fecal matter in one of the Mwanawasa Hostels, of the way students conduct themselves over the weekend despite them knowing that the people responsible for cleaning their hostels are unavailable during that time.
“It is a shame to see students who are believed to be intellectuals portraying disgusting behaviors in the way they keep their hostels during our absentia on weekends”, she said.
She further said the kitchen sinks are misused; students leave nshima crumbs and fish scales in sinks instead of the bins provided to them by the UNZA Workers’ Union.
Jenifer, on behalf of her workmates, pleaded with students to be sympathetic on the cleaners as the job they do is important in ensuring that the UNZA environment is safe and disease-free, she further urged students to make cleanliness a priority ahead of their academic studies.
An UNZA student, Jeremiah also complained of his fellow students’ mischievous behavior during weekends.
“It is a pity for students to behave irrational especially following event like the freshers bash, which is made to celebrate the new students. Some students get to hyper and start smashing bottles, which is not good coming from intellectuals.”
As the old adage goes, “Cleanliness is next to godliness”, but somewhere along the way students forgot this simple and cliche saying. If students are to thrive academically at The University of Zambia, personal cleanliness must be of utmost importance lest water-borne diseases arise that could have easily been avoided in the first place.