Background of the Study
The nature of man’s environment is one of the basic determinants of his state of health, among other factors.
This implies that the condition of man’s home, place of work and every other place he makes use of has a direct relationship with his well being. Oredipe (1996) is of the opinion that there is a natural relationship between man and his environment. According to him, this is because the environment presents to man various opportunities and at the same time various problems. The environment place limit or control on the development of man. It also governs the course of man’s manipulation of the environment. It will either make it easier or difficult for man to rest his living of the environment. Gidado (2003) is of the opinion that man through his intellectual capabilities tends to maximize his contact with and utilization of environmental resources: man attempts to either constantly condition the environment to suit his needs or to adjust himself to the environmental conditions.
Adesina (1998) stated that the apparent health problems in Nigerian society associated with poor environmental sanitation have assumed noticeable dimensions that all services thinkers would readily accept the need for constant appraisal of the environmental with a view to finding workable solution for improvement. In the opinion of Oredipe (1996), the environment is an aggregate of all conditions that surrounds man at any point in space. For the early man, those conditions were mainly mutual. They included such elements like climate, soil, vegetation and the terrain.
Kalesanwo (1994) suggests that the basic requirements for a health living are adequate supply of safe water, provision for the hygienic disposal of waste, among others. Generally, poor environmental sanitation will cause filthy environment giving bad odours, causing awful scenes, harboring flies and germs and ultimately encouraging outbreaks of epidemics (Gidado, 2003).
Funke (2001) is of a good school is the availability of a healthy environment including clean toilets, classrooms, libraries, play fields, among others. Idowu (1996) states that sparkling clean toilets is an essential environmental component of any “good” schools. Similarly, Akinseinde (1999) has identified that the school environment has to be neat with neatly cut paths and flowers spacious and clean classrooms and toilets. It is however regrettable to observe that the problem of environmental abuse, which has become characteristics of Akoko in recent years, is gradually finding its way into our primary and secondary schools especially those without security fence in the cities. Apart from this some members of the school community especially the learners (pupils and students) are often found of the habit of littering the ground with pieces of papers, biscuit wrappers, sachets of water, among others.
In some instance, students are often found defecating and urinating indiscriminately in the school compound either as a result of non-availability or inadequacy of toilets facilities.
This, at first, results in land pollution and later, air pollution. Thus, the members of the school community run the risk of the breakdown of epidemics. According to Adegoke (2000), rubbish in the form of papers, human waste and other solids is unpleasant to look and it can spread diseases fast. Similarly, Gidado (2003) has stated that, more than any other things, waste degrade the quality of our environment, it constitutes health hazards. Epidemics of Cholera, Dysentary and Diarrhea in some cities and towns such as Lagos and Ibadan can be traced to the pollution of the land Oredipe, (1996). Similarly, the aesthetic beauty of the environment is destroyed.
The problem of land pollution in the school community common in schools where there are no dustbins, incinerators, etc for waste collection.
However, the situation may also arise where pupils are not well informed on the need to dispose their wastes properly and hygienically. Similarly, learners can also resort to polluting the land with wastes such as papers, nylons etc where dustbins are/or incinerators are not accessible or too for from their classes. In such situations, children may ‘cleverly” dump wastes anywhere provided they are not caught.
Considering the attendant effect of land pollution in the school system such as the breakdown of epidemics such as cholera, dysentery, diarrhea, pupils will consequently fall sick and thus unable to come to school. The importance of education to national growth and development can be underrated. Then this implies that our educational aims and goals may not be achieved to the desired level as a result of learners’ and teachers’ ill-health resulting from environmental abuse. Considering the adage “Health is wealth”, it becomes imperative to carry out a comprehensive study of the problems militating against effective environmental sanitation exercise in primary schools in Akoko Local Government Area of Ondo State.
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