Discuss about the Problems Associated With Lack Of Sanitation.
Sanitation can be explained as the way of promoting and maintaining hygiene, by preventing an individual from direct contact with waste materials mainly faeces, by properly treating and disposing the waste materials. The wastes can be biological or chemical agents, including human excreta, which cause serious health problems if it comes in direct contact with the individual (Garriga & Foguet, 2013).
The essay highlights the problems which are associated with the lack of sanitation in several countries. It is still a major issue in many developing countries. Majority of the people have no access to toilets, even if they have those are not hygienic, which creates serious health issues. Approximately, over 2.4 billion people still lack improved and proper sanitation facilities.
The essay throws light on the current scenario of the sanitation facilities, the problems associated with it and how it can be curbed. It also includes some major steps that should be undertaken to eradicate this menace from the world as fast as possible.
According to the UNICEF Executive Director, about 40% population of the world still lack accessibility to proper and improved toilets. Absence of proper sanitation causes serious health, environmental and social problems especially to the children. It leads to water borne diseases, intestinal infections, stunted growth in children, malnutrition, anemia, cholera, malaria, diarrhea and several others (Unicef.org. 2017). Proper sanitation and washing hands with soap helps in preventing the transfer of several bacteria and parasites. Wastes like human excreta, industrial, agricultural and others, contaminate with water and soil causing several fatal diseases. Diarrhea is one of the major fatal diseases, which can cause death to many, especially children, in the developing countries. Urinating openly can cause several diseases which can transmit from person to person by contaminating soil, water and food (Briceño, Coville, & Martinez, 2015).
Imparting education related to proper sanitation system is very important. Schools play a very important role in this, by initiating and adopting proper measures on health and hygiene. Institutions should promote and encourage the students in using clean toilets and washing their hands after urinating (World Health Organization. 2017). Teachers can be a role model in this by imparting education on sanitation, not only to the students but also to the community. Some schools lack clean and poor sanitation facilities as well as safe drinking water which contributes to high dropout rates and absenteeism. It is important to educate people about proper sanitation system and the consequences of poor facilities. Several campaigns must be organized, especially in rural areas to educate people regarding this (Sommer, & Caruso, 2015).
In many places, especially in developing countries, many rural people still lack access to the basic needs such as proper food, drinking water, shelter, clothing, health and education. They don’t feel the need of building toilets due to lack of education and money. The Ebola crisis in the West Africa was due to lack of proper sanitation and hygiene, which was a tragic crisis as it infected many. Government must undertake projects to build public toilets, especially in rural areas, where people can access it for free. Public toilets must be cleaned on a regular basis in order to prevent contaminated diseases (World Health Organization. 2015).
Mainly women and girls have to bear the burden of poor sanitation facilities. It raises questions on their safety and security. They feel ashamed and lose their dignity, while urinating openly. Firstly, in many places, women and girls can defecate only in the day time, if they don’t have a toilet in their homes. After dark, they are not allowed to defecate, which can result in serious health problems and illness. This is because there is a probability of harassment in the night time, while going to the defecation fields (Unicef.org. 2017). Secondly, many schools lack safe, clean and separate toilets for girls which is one of the major factors which forces them to leave school. Moreover, lack of washing facilities also causes health hazards for them, especially when they menstruate. Thirdly, it greatly effects pregnant women and causes genital infections when they defecate openly. Fourthly, many children get sick through direct contact with the excreta, which litter their surroundings. Taking care of the sick children increases the pressure of women as they are already loaded with other works (Jewitt & Ryley, 2014).
The wastes get directly disposed to the fields which causes great problem to the environment. The quality of the soil degrades resulting in land pollution, causing harm to many plants and crops. Several wastes make the environment dirty and smelly (Unicef.org. 2017). The infectious germs in air can affect anyone, causing several respiratory problems and air pollution. Moreover, water gets contaminated which gives rise to water borne diseases. It also harms aquatic plants and animals, causing water pollution, as the industrial and agricultural wastes flow to the water bodies (Castro, 2012).
There are several steps that need to be adopted urgently in order to prevent such issues. Firstly, government should undertake projects of building more and more clean and free public toilets. Secondly, campaigns should be organized, especially in the rural areas, to educate them in undertaking proper sanitation measures, which include washing hands. Free soaps should be given to the rural people (Sommer & Sahin, 2013). Thirdly, schools should have clean drinking water facilities and separate toilets for girls, in order to provide them security. People living at places with no or less number of toilets, should be encouraged to use the school’s washrooms (Bartram et al., 2005). Fourthly, free education on sanitation must be given at every schools and communities in order to aware people of the consequences. Lastly, clean portable and mobile public toilets must be in every place, where people have less or no accessibility to proper sanitation facilities (Who.int. 2017).
To conclude, sanitation is a major issue in any developing country. It not only harms an individual or a community, but also causes great damage to the environment and animals. Proper measures and sanitation facilities must be adopted, in order to prevent fatal diseases. People must have the basic right to use public toilets as lack of sanitation threatens their life. Several organizations hold campaign to promote good sanitation facilities and safe drinking water to everyone. At many places, due to lack of education, people don’t use public toilets and prefer defecating openly. This should be taken care of by imparting education to them. It is important to work hand in hand in eradicating this menace from the world.
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