Institutions of higher learning are assumed to reek of smoke and smog of intellectual behaviour.
But toilets in these institutions speak a different language altogether.
First is the illiterate graffiti that reads: “Cyprian was here” in a toilet at JKUAT university. At Moi University’s Hostel H, graffiti that mocks the struggle to let loose reads: “A man who swallows a whole coconut must have complete faith in his an*s.”
In most public universities, the toilets — with broken cisterns — are washed once a day. Flushing is a blessing.
While campuses brag massive libraries and computer labs, one toilet in a public Kenyan university serves around 400 students.
Then there is that small matter of tissue paper.
At the University of Nairobi where a 22-storey tower is near completion, tissue paper is mostly a luxury — only common in the Administration block. It’s a rumour in other areas including the 4,000-seater Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library where users have to sort themselves.
Kenyatta University with all the Uni City hype and a Sh21 million gate has dirty washrooms that looked like abandoned ruins.
Speaking to campus vibe, Kimani, a tutorial fellow and Masters student at Kenyatta University said it was better to live in private hostels.
“People who pass through here come from all walks of life, and you cannot micro manage everyone. The administration, despite the situation in these toilets, can only do so much,” said Kimani.
This is not the case in all campuses though. At Strathmore and Daystar Universities toilets are fresh enough for girls to take selfies and mirror pictures of themselves.
“I wouldn’t picture this place being dirty. It’s comfortable,” says Cheryl Moraa a third year student at St Paul’s University.
Speaking to Campus Vibe, psychologist Ken Munyua said:
“Who goes to private universities? Children of the affluent who don’t even don’t spend time in the institution. But public universities sometimes have people who are just careless.”