By Aisha Nazim
Some 78 undergraduates have fallen ill due to unhygienic conditions at the Sabaragamuwa University and are receiving treatment at the University’s medical centre, the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) alleged.
IUSF Convener Sanjeewa Bandara charged that on 7 June, 38 students were receiving treatment at the medical centre, while the numbers rose steadily and there were 78 ill people by 8 June.
“The undergraduates are suffering from stomach pains, nausea, and diarrhoea. There are many more cases being reported each day, as students continue to fall ill. Over 40 students are receiving treatment out of the university premises as well, at the Pambahinna Hospital. The cause for this outbreak has not been identified as yet. However, it is most probably because they do not have clean drinking water facilities,” charged Bandara.
Water is supplied to some areas of the university through waterlines, and the other areas of the campus receive water through water bowsers. The water brought in by bowsers has been limited and there is a huge scarcity of water at the university, Bandara claimed.
In addition, the university authorities are not concerned about where they get the water from, which leaves the water quality questionable, he said.
Bandara held the university authorities responsible for the numbers of students getting ill over the last few days, and said they were irresponsible and careless about how the university was run.
“The hostel cesspits haven’t been emptied, and life at the hostel is unbearable. The toilets are overflowing and the students are highly inconvenienced. There are over 3,000 undergraduates at the university, and all of them are at risk of falling ill, he said.
He charged the administration of paying huge sums of money to the Rakna Lanka Security Firm, but of not investing in the students’ health and wellbeing.
When contacted by Ceylon Today, the Sabaragamuwa University Vice-Chancellor and registrar were not available for clarification.