Throughout the world 2.5 billion people lack basic sanitation, this population is nearly 38% of the world population (WHO &UNICEF, 2012). According to UNICEF and WHO (2010), 89% of world’s population used water from improved sources (54% from a piped connection and 35% from other improved water sources) leaving 11% with no access to improved water sources. Only 63% of world population used improved sanitation facilities with sub-Saharan Africa having 30% and Southern Asia 41%. About 15% of world’s population lives without any form of sanitation and practice open defecation.
Washing hands with soap can reduce instances of diarrhoea by 35-50% and also reduce acute respiratory infections such as pneumonia by 30% (UNICEF, GOK, WSP, 2009). With the new COVID-19 pandemic, it has also been proven that proper hand washings helps prevent the spread of this virus. Lack of water, soap and hand washing facilities means that children do not wash their hands after defecation hence increasing the risk of reinfection to themselves and transmission to other children (Elpo, 2009).
In our country, those living below the poverty line lose their jobs and incomes, often fall ill due to lack of access to clean and safe water, resulting in sanitation-related diseases. It is therefore important for everyone to ensure that each dwelling has a good sanitation facility and adequate water for hand washing.
Dungumaro, E. W. (2009). AVAILABILITY OF DOMESTIC WATER AND SANITATION IN HOUSEHOLDS : A GENDER PERSPECTIVE USING SURVEY DATA IN SOUTH AFRICA.
WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation. Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2015 Update.
World Health Organization. The World health report 2002, Reducing Risks, promoting healthy life (accessed on 15th June 2012)