Several students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, have become ‘homeless’ after the roofs of their hostels were blown off during a rainstorm.
The students also lost most of their belongings during the downpour, which commenced late on Sunday night and continued into the early hours of Monday.
Some trees in the campus were also uprooted, or had their branches broken, by the rainstorm.
No life was lost in the incident.
The students affected are mostly those in Okpara and Eni Njoku hostels, which are female and male hostels, respectively.
Our correspondent learnt that most of the students were asleep when the heavy rain, which was accompanied by a strong wind, commenced.
They woke up to discover that they no longer had a roof over their heads, as it rained directly on them and also on their belongings.
Parts of the roof and the woodwork caved in, falling on beds and destroying students’ personal effects.
One of the students, who identified herself simply as Jacinta, told our correspondent on Tuesday that the students in the affected hostels are currently homeless.
“As I am talking to you, we are homeless. Our foams were soaked by the rain, we lost private properties which were damaged by the rain.
“Even electrical appliances got spoiled because, surprisingly, the light was on at the time the rain poured into the rooms although electricity had to be disconnected because some people experienced electric shocks.
“After we managed to put our rain-soaked belongings together, we had to look for places to pass the remainder of the night,” Jacinta said.
It was learnt that, as a temporary measure to alleviate the plight of the affected students, the school authorities have assigned them to other hostels, pending when the roofs would be replaced.
However, one of the affected students who did not wish to be named, said the university management should also provide some ‘sort of compensation’ for the victims.
“I don’t want to blame the school management for this; but it is obvious that the roof was not strong enough to withstand the wind, which means that they were not properly fixed.
“Now, due to no fault of ours, we have lost most of our property, and in addition to that, we have been rendered homeless.
“We are victims and should be treated as such. We deserve compensation.
“Beyond restoring the roofs, I believe the school management should also compensate the affected students for this major inconvenience. I think so because if they had made sure that the buildings were properly constructed, we would not have suffered this calamity,” the aggrieved student said.
The student, who demanded an immediate restoration of the roofs of the affected hostels, added that the school management should also evaluate the state of other buildings in the campus, to avoid possible disasters in the future.
He said, “We are lucky that no life was lost in this incident but we might not be so lucky next time, so the school management should go beyond just replacing the roofs, they should make sure that the other hostels and other buildings are in order.”
Our correspondent observed on Tuesday that some workers, said to be staff of the university’s works department, have started removing the uprooted trees and tree branches which obstructed movement in parts of the school.
But the roofs of the affected hostels are yet to be replaced.
Efforts to get the UNN management to comment on the development were not successful at the time of filing this report.
See the photographs, as shared by Peace Umeh on Facebook: