Fresh Water Conservation

Water and Sanitation – Sanitation is Vital to Human Health

Episode 1: How poor sanitation habits can affect water and our health.
What does sanitation mean?
For the purpose of this series, sanitation is defined as the safe collection, storage, treatment and disposal of water and personal waste (like, faeces, urine, garbage and other household wastes).

Why is sanitation so important?

Water is very important for life, the human body needs more than seven glasses of water per day depending on age and where they live. In addition, we use much more, during our daily activities. The water we drink and use is directly linked to our health. This linkage is possible through washing, bathing, drinking, eating foods washed with and/or fish that live in contaminated water.

What are some of our habits which contaminate the water we use?

The sources of contamination of the water we use are numerous, including improper storage of water, disposal of garbage, human wastes, and chemicals from commercial industries, mining and agriculture. Examining our household and/or our personal habits, there are many ways we contribute to this contamination. See the box for five of these; tick the ones you may have done at least once.

What are some of the effects of using contaminated water?
Poor sanitation can eventually lead to contamination of water, and once we drink or use this it will affect our health. Poor water and sanitation habits can seriously affect our health and in many cases can cause problems such as worm infestation, diarrhea, skin infections, cholera, typhoid, malaria and many more; some of these can be fatal.

Do you know...

lmproved sanitation is estimated to reduce the risk of contracting diarrhoeal diseases by 32%

Source: World Health Organisation

Habits which contaminate the water we use

  1. Dumping of my garbage through home or vehicle windows on to the roads, river, drains, our yards and school compounds
  2. Washing my dirty hands in an entire bucket or drum of water.
  3. Urinating or defecating in close to or in rivers, drains and pipes.
  4. Leaving our garbage storage containers open.
  5. Leaving water storage containers uncovered or untreated for long periods
© Jerrel Pinas