Deficiencies in environmental sanitation—solid waste, wastewater, excreta disposal, drainage, and community hygiene—contribute significantly to the continuing high rate of infant and child mortality from diarrheal diseases and also play a role in vector-borne diseases. Many studies indicate that lack of sanitation puts people at higher risk for diarrheal disease than lack of safe water. Over two million children die each year of diseases that result from poor quality drinking water and inadequate sanitary facilities. This work includes, amongst other activities, providing safe drinking water, all forms of waste management, pest control and training on food hygiene.
The majority of these diseases are contracted as a result of poor quality drinking water, inappropriate hygiene practices or inadequate sanitary facilities. Effective sanitation and hygiene programmes need to combine interventions to change behaviour with the selection of the right technology. When people become infected with diseases such as cholera, typhoid and hepatitis A, their excreta will contain large amounts of the germs which cause the disease.
Environmental sanitation – the control of environmental factors that form links in disease transmission. Subsets of this category are solid waste management, water and wastewater treatment, industrial waste treatment and noise and pollution control.
The importance of waste isolation lies in an effort to prevent water and sanitation related diseases, which afflicts both developed countries as well as developing countries to differing degrees. It is estimated that up to 5 million people die each year from preventable water-borne disease, as a result of inadequate sanitation and hygiene practices.
Sanitation generally refers to the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and faeces. Inadequate sanitation is a major cause of disease world-wide and improving sanitation is known to have a significant beneficial impact on health both in households and across communities. The word ‘sanitation’ also refers to the maintenance of hygienic conditions, through services such as garbage collection and wastewater disposal.
Sanitation is the hygienic means of preventing human contact from the hazards of wastes to promote health. Hazards can be either physical, microbiological, biological or chemical agents of disease. Wastes that can cause health problems are human and animal feces, solid wastes, domestic wastewater (sewage, sullage, greywater), industrial wastes, and agricultural wastes. Hygienic means of prevention can be by using engineering solutions (e.g. sewerage and wastewater treatment), simple technologies (e.g.latrines, septic tanks), or even by personal hygiene practices (e.g. simple handwashing with soap).