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What Is Sanitation?


What is sanitation? Is it just the act or process of making sanitary? I believe not. Sanitation goes deeper than that. It goes beyond tidying up the physical environment: home, workplaces, churches, schools. To me, sanitation is getting yourself a purified soul in a clean environment. In this article, we are going to delve deeper into sanitation.

Sanitation is defined as promoting hygiene and prevention of disease by maintaining sanitary conditions and removing sewage and rubbish. It is crucial to living secure lives. Good sanitation promotes a healthier, happier community by:

  • Reduction in water-borne pathogens
  • Reduction in illnesses like diarrhoea and cholera
  • Providing better groundwater protection

Economically, good sanitation lower health system costs, fewer days lost at work or school through illness or caring for an ill relative, and is a convenient time-saver. On the other hand, a dirty environment has adverse health effects as well as economic effects.

Untidy surroundings cause air pollution, water pollution and food contamination. Adversely, the state’s expenditure goes high as more money is spent on providing treatment for the sick. There is a decrease in schooling and a downturn in economic opportunities.

Sanitation is of the following types:

Environmental Sanitation.

This refers to the art and science of applying sanitary, biological and physical science principles and knowledge to improve and control the environment therein to protect the health and welfare of the public. This aims to provide, develop, and maintain a safe and pleasant physical environment in all human settlements.

Environmental sanitation includes human excreta control, solid waste and wastewater, and pest and vector control. In keeping the environment neat, land pollution, water pollution and air pollution must be controlled and reduced drastically.

Land pollution

This occurs when rubbish, compost, and other toxins are dumped on the land, contaminating or polluting it. This is caused by accumulating solid and liquid waste materials that contaminate groundwater and soil. The risk of land pollution has been significantly decreased by utilizing the natural shale and clay in the land.

Land pollution is caused by deforestation and soil erosion, agricultural activities, mining activities, overcrowded landfills, industrialization, urbanization, construction activities and nuclear waste.

Landfills, in particular, cause breeding grounds for mosquitoes and houseflies. Houseflies, in turn, cause cholera, diarrhoea and dysentery when they contaminate our food and water.

Water pollution

This is the poisoning of oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, aquifers, and groundwater. This is generally the result of human activity, and water pollution causes changes in the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of water that are harmful to any living creature.

Water pollution comes in many forms: groundwater pollution, surface water pollution, microbial pollution, suspended matter pollution, chemical water pollution. Means of water pollution include industrial waste, pathogens, sewage, radioactive waste, dumping of solid waste, and organic waste. Pollution of water affects human health, the food chain and aquatic life.

In keeping up with environmental sanitation, water must be made clean for all. We must avoid making water unclean and unsafe for human consumption and activities. Rather than discharging sewage waste into water bodies, it is preferable to treat it first.

By doing so, the original toxicity can be reduced, and the residual chemicals can be destroyed and turned harmless by the water body itself. Water that has undergone secondary treatment can be reused in sanitary systems and agricultural areas.

Air pollution

According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is the contamination of the indoor and outdoor environments by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere.

Common air pollution causes include burning fossil fuels, industrial emissions, indoor air pollution, wildfires, decaying microbial processes, transportation, open burning of rubbish waste, construction, and demolition.

Air pollution causes respiratory and heart problems, global warming, acid rain, eutrophication, wildlife effects, and depletion of the Ozone layer. Exposure to high air pollution levels during pregnancy causes miscarriages and premature birth, autism, asthma and spectrum disorder in children. Again, several million are known to have died due to air pollution’s direct or indirect effects.

Food Sanitation

Food sanitation ensures that the food supply remains safe and that people do not become ill when eating in a restaurant or cooking food at home. In observing proper food sanitation, there must be

  • Proper personal hygiene, including frequent hand and arm washing and covering cuts
  • Proper cleaning and sanitizing of all food contact surfaces and utensils
  • Proper cleaning and sanitizing of food equipment
  • Good basic housekeeping and maintenance.

Soul Sanitation

I believe not only what is outside needs to look good. What’s inside, too, needs care. The mind and the heart need to be clean. Get rid of all malice, unnecessary pressure and procrastination. Practise discipline, self-reliance, hard work and humility.

Being in a clean environment but not feeling good about yourself is not worth it, and it would be best if you felt good and proud of yourself. Don’t forget the second theory of the need of Abraham Maslow: social needs. Go out there, ‘prune’ the negative influence, and make a positive influence for yourself.

Cleanliness is indeed next to Godliness.


This article highlighted all you need to know what sanitation is.

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