Sanitation Issues in Africa

Poor sanitation – Africa’s greatest enemy

People from the first and second world countries don’t know the problems that poor sanitation can cause, and thus many would find the statement from the title wrong. We have advanced so much that we have forgotten how an inadequate sewerage system can affect people and the environment.
It’s a sad thing that more than fifty percent of Africans have to live without proper sewage systems that cause deaths and other illnesses. But not all people ignore the needs of Africa as some of us promote aid and programs that will improve the sanitation state on that continent to save people from a large number of illnesses whose cause is poor sanitation and water contamination.

Improvement of sanitation is a major step for Africa

Large-scale approach to this issue is impossible and thus small steps are required. African people have to realize that the sanitation is the fundamental right of every human and that poor sanitation leads to poor health. These two things should be the focus of every program that wants to help. Many Africans don’t see the connection between various illnesses and poor sanitation conditions and it’s our responsibility to teach them about that.

The next step is building of the toilets. A proper toilet isn’t expensive, and a charity funding can make thousands of these. But this type of investment would be a waste of resources without teaching the people to use them. Those people know how to use a toilet, but they have done that outdoors throughout their life, and this change will have an impact on their life. Programs should focus on education which would show those people that their way of doing things isn’t healthy and that they should accept this change.

Health and hygiene

Programs should teach people that health depends on the hygiene and that these two are closely connected. Construction of the proper toilets is one of the steps that should be taken, teaching people about the importance of the hygiene and proper waste disposal is another step. All of this should prevent diseases whose source is the direct and indirect contact with the human waste. It will also impede the contamination of the drinking water, which is a huge issue in Africa (especially in growing towns).

The education should start in schools, but it shouldn’t end there, it should happen on a community level as well. The sanitation will improve in Africa only when people realize that change is necessary for the safety of their children and the rest of their family.

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