The Crucial Need for Sanitation in the Emerging World


I have written before that one of the things I advocate most is access to clean water and sanitation around the globe. When I was in Kenya last year – especially in the rural areas – I came face to face with the bathroom issue. While I didn’t see any open defecation as can be rampant in some areas in developing nations I did have to face the dreaded pit latrine.

That said, access to toilets that flush aren’t always a possibility. In fact, they are more of an impossibility in rural areas. It’s simply important to have a “clean toilet”; a pit latrine works to separate waste from people.  Having access to sanitation drastically reduces the amount of communicable diseases like rotavirus (diarrhea), cholera, typhoid, and parasites that people come in contact with. In areas where people use water areas for their personal wastes, disease is rife. According to our partner, Water.org, Only 63% of the world’s population has access to improved sanitation – defined as a sanitation facility that ensures hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact. That is a lot of people who are living with open waste every day.

There is good news, though. Today I read from an Oxfam tweet that Sierra Leone has increased their sanitation efforts by 100 percent. And sanitation aid has increased to 7.8 billion dollars in 2010 according to the Guardian.

As more countries ramp up their efforts to solve their sanitation issues, the better for the overall health of their countries, especially for children.

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