Fresh Water Conservation

Water and Sanitation – Sanitation is Vital to Human Health

Episode 4: How we can practice improved sanitation to maintain Wetlands functions
Previously we discussed the values of wetlands as an important source of pure water. However, this value is some what conditional. There are a number of factors which can affect the functioning of wetlands in the purification and storage of water.

These factors include:
  • Extreme and unfavourable climate conditions,
  • Contamination from improper dumping of waste and by products,
  • Blockage of canals/ trenches necessary for drainage and
  • Overuse of freshwater at the source.
Good environmental practices and management are important in safeguarding and maximizing the value of wetlands in purifying and storing water. You may think “Oh, well!! This has nothing to do with me just the authorities and environmental organization”. However, you are important to the maintenance of wetlands functioning, since your environmental hygiene habits can impact on wetland areas, thereby affecting its functioning, and ultimately your water supply.

Some of the basic environmentally friendly sanitary practices are:

  1. Reducing the amount of waste, that can ultimately end up in water systems: Recycling is a good approach
  2. Store and dispose of household garbage in a closed receptacle or container
  3. Dispose of oil waste (including cooking oil) properly and not dumping through sink/ drains
  4. Use a toilet or latrine to defecate, and not in the open and waterways (rivers, trench, etc)
  5. Encourage others to practice environmentally sanitary habits
© Jerrel Pinas
Amerindian woman cleaning fish in Suriname, South America.
© Jerrel Pinas