Sanitation is the hygienic practice to promote healthy lifestyle through proper disposal and treatment of human excreta, sewage, solid & liquid waste and provide a healthy environment. Improper disposal of these wastes causes health problems such as diarrhea, malaria, etc. Attack of disease to humans can be prevented through appropriate hygienic practices, e.g. sanitary sewers, sewage treatment, solid waste management and excreta management. There are a number of technologies for excreta management, e.g. pit latrines, dry toilets and septic tanks. Above all behavior changes is most in personal hygiene practices, such as use of toilets for defecation and hand washing with soap neither all technologies will be useless.
It is scientifically proven that human excreta is very dangerous in terms of health. Human excreta contains a huge number of pathogens which causes disease when comes into contact. Sanitation should not limit with individuals it must be cumulative; because shit of one person might enter into another body through hand, food, water, etc. So, human excreta must be handled thoroughly during collection, transportation, treatment or disposal.
According to WHO (World Health Organization) “Sanitation generally refers to the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and feces. The word ‘sanitation’ also refers to the maintenance of hygienic conditions, through services such as garbage collection and wastewater disposal.”
Four major engineering infrastructure of sanitation associated with:
- Wastewater management systems
- Solid waste management systems and
- Excreta management systems
- Drainage systems for rainwater
The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council defines sanitation as
- “The collection, transport, treatment and disposal or reuse of human excreta, domestic wastewater and solid waste, and associated hygiene promotion.”
Overall of sanitation practices provide a healthy living environment for everyone, provide safety, security and dignity. Rural sanitation is crying for safety and dignity for people, especially for women when they defecate or urinate openly.
Lack of Sanitation
Lack of sanitation generally refers open defecation whether due to the absence of sanitary toilet or habit. This carelessness creates serious public health issues, especially in rural areas.
The “F-diagram” depicts that human excreta is the main source of some of the disease. This feces come with human contact via fingers, fliers, fields, fluids and food. Finally, pathogens use the human body as new host to develop new diseases.
Diseases caused by lack of sanitation
- Ascariasis (intestinal worm infection)
- Cyanobateria toxins
- Japanese encephalitis (JE)
- Typhoid and
- Paratyphoid enteric fevers
These diseases only could be reduced with proper access to sanitation and hygiene practices. For this everyone has to one forward, i.e. individual, institutions and organizations to stop open defecation and make the society happy.