By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
Some Nigerian students in Sumy State University (SumDU), Ukraine, say they have been cooking with ice and snow due to water shortage in the city.
The Nigerians are part of the over 800 international students hiding in bunkers at their hostels in SumDU, according to The Nation.
The Nigerians, said to be 368, were quoted as saying that their water and power supply were disrupted on March 3, when bombs destroyed a water plant and power substation serving the city.
Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24, since then, many residents, including Nigerians, have fled to neighbouring countries.
But the students are unable to flee Sumy as all routes leading to the city have been blocked.
Emmanuella Oiza, a 17-year-old first-year medical student, was quoted as saying: “People had to use snow to cook food because there was no water.
“The bombings are audible from everywhere in the city. We hide in bunkers. We heard some sounds although it’s not near the hostel we are in and due to the bomb the day before yesterday, our light and water were cut off.
“We had to trek to another hostel which is closer to the city centre to get light because no light means no data connection.
“In this hostel, there’s light but no water and the population increased drastically today (Saturday) and yesterday (Friday). More than half of the population of hostels 4 and 5 are in this hostel which is hostel 3.
“So it’s congested; no bed space, the toilets aren’t working so everywhere smells and it’s just tiring. It doesn’t help that it’s really cold and snowing at this point.”
Oiza said many of the Nigerians are medical students while others are studying computer science, management and other courses.
Apart from the 368 Nigerians, there are also students from Tanzania (159); Ghana (150); Zimbabwe (18); Zambia (14); Morocco (12); Namibia (4); Angola (4); South Africa (2), and Botswana (1).
Others are from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ireland, India, Lebanon and Turkey.