Water and sanitation for health
(A DIPR feature by P. Tepekrovi Kiso, IA Mon)
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f everyone would only clean their own doorstep, the whole world would be clean.” Mother Teresa.
Sanitation is safely disposing off of human excreta (faeces and urine), keeping one self, house and surrounding clean so that conducive condition is created for good personal and community health. It is making cleanliness a habit and way of life.
Poor Sanitation can lead to disease like:
i. Diarrheal disease, including cholera and dysentery, which kills more than two million young children a year.
ii. Intestinal worms, which afflict more than a third of the developing world’s population and cause malnutrition, poor physical and mental growth, iron deficiency, anemia, and lack of energy.iii. Trachoma, which has taken the eyesight of six million people and is related to infrequent washing and inadequate water supply.
iv. Schistosomiasis, which affects 200 million people and can be largely eliminated by good water, sanitation, and hygiene.
v. Skin infections which sometimes accounts for half of all visits to outpatient clinics.
Needs to construct a toilet
b. Convenience & comfort.
c. Privacy and safety.
d. For women & girls to avoid sexual harassment & assault.
e. Less embarrassments with visitors and friend.
f. Dignity & social status.
Reasons for washing hand
Hand washing with soap is the single most important step in preventing the spread of disease. Our hands are in contact with millions of germs a day.
i. Before and after you eat or touch food.
ii. After going to bathroom.
iii. After playing with pets.
iv. After you sneeze, cough or blow your nose.
v. Whenever your hands are dirty.
The impact of clean water, sanitation, and hygiene has to offer
a. Improves health.
b. Offers greater dignity and safety especially for women and girls.
c. Improves nutrition and the physical and mental growth of children.
d. Improves the living environment: cleaner communities, streets, fields, and water.
e. Reduces the burden on women of water carrying.
f. Reduces the burden of looking after sick children.
g. Liberates energy for self employment.
h. Reduces absenteeism from work.
i. Boosts school enrolment, attendance and performance.
j. Reduces private expenditure on health by families.
k. Boosts tourism and national image.
l. Creates job, as installation of water supply and sanitation is labour intensive.
m. Serves justice and equity by bringing the greatest benefits to the lives of the poorest.
Safely dispose off excreta
Safely dispose off excreta by maintaining no see, no touch and no smell.
The 3 R’s for solid waste management
Reduce : Change lifestyle of generate minimum garbage.
Reuse : What is useless to you may be useful to another person. It can be reused.
Recycle : Convert recyclable garbage into manures or other useful products.
Sources: Office of the Chief Engineer,
PHED, Government of Nagaland.