Prevention and Solutions to Water Problems

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Water borne diseases can be prevented in several ways. These may include-

A. Improved Sanitation

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment 2000 Report, improved sanitation means “access to facilities that hygienically separate human excreta from human, animal and insect contact. Facilities such as sewers or septic tanks, poor-flush latrines and simple pit or ventilated improved pit latrines, provided that they are not public,” However the education behind the proper use of these facilities is important. Improved sanitation in this paper will therefore include personal hygiene traits like washing hands after visiting the toilet, and before and during the preparation of meals, and proper disposal of wastewater, amongst other sanitary etiquette.
Kibera sewer

B. Access to Clean Safe Water

Clean safe water is water that is free from germs and diseases. Clean safe water can be contaminated by the use during collection, transportation, storage and even in usage. Therefore, for water to be clean and safe for consumption, taking precaution in every stage of its handling is very important. For instance, safe water that is collected in a contaminated container would otherwise be unsafe. Therefore, containers used to collect water should be safe too. When water is being transported, by human beings, animals or vehicles, dirt and dust that are disease causing may settle into the water. It is important to cover the water when transporting it to the place of use. Storing water in a container that has no lid offers a chance of contamination too. People have to dip their hands in the stored water to be able to use it. The use of a tap at the end of the container to reduces the chances of contaminating safe water. This means that users do not have to dip their hands or other water collecting containers into the storage container when they need to use the water.

C. Sanitary Latrines

It is of the greatest importance that contents from a latrine do not seep into a water source like a well. Since most diseases can be transmitted through the human matter. This is the reason as to why the latrine has to be built at a safe distance from the well or any other water body. It is also important to note that the latrine should be at a level where the content does not flow into the underground water system. Therefore, the well should be on a higher level than the latrine. A point to note also is that the latrine should have a vent from the pit and a lid to cover the latrine hole to reduce the breeding of housefly.

D. Etiquette in the Handling of Wastewater

The disposal of wastewater in a manner that does not pollute other water sources is a big step in ensuring that water sources are protected from harmful pathogens. This could be quite easy to do in a household setting where there is no gutter system. Digging a cesspit and filling the cesspit with rocks such that bath water and kitchen water seep into the ground may ensure that the kitchen garden or the homestead lawn is well watered even in a place where there is scarcity of water, and it will help reduce flies and other insects that would breed on stagnant waters.

Prevention of Water Related Insect Vector Diseases

A. The use of pesticides

Spraying the home and its environs with insectides will kill insect vectors and inhibit their breeding rates. However, if not used according to instructions, insecticides may cause harm. It is therefore important to carefully follow the manufacturers’ instructions when using insecticides. Keep them out of the reach of children.

B. Destroying insect and worm breeding places

This can be done by draining puddles and clearing bushes where the insects breed. However, on water bodies that take a while to drain, oiling can be used to inhibit the breeding process of these insects and bugs. Pouring a small amount of used car oil into the latrine hole will help prevent the breeding of bugs and insects, and furthermore it will kill the bugs which live in the latrines and that can crawl into the house.

C. Eliminating rodents that transmit diseases through the introduction of natural predators and sterile insects

Setting rodent traps and keeping other pets that would help eliminate the rodents and other insects that may act as disease vectors. Some types of fish have been used over the years, in ponds to eat the mosquito larvae. Naturals predators like pet cats can prevent the breeding of rats and mice, which can lead to other diseases.

D. Covering water storage tanks and containers

Stored water can act as breeding places for parasites. Therefore, water that is stored must be covered to avoid being contaminated by floating germs in the air, and to prevent parasites that breed in standing waters from using the water as a base.

Prevention of Water Based Diseases

The implementation of these preventive methods of water-based diseases will reduce the chances of being sick.

A. Washing of hands regularly,

• It is important to wash hands before, during and after the preparing of meals. There are foods that must be cooked and others can be consumed raw. It is very important to ensure that the hands and utensils are washed before handing foods that are eaten raw, when preparing cooked food and salads. Otherwise, bits of the foods that must be cooked may end up being ingested with the raw foods through cross contamination.

• Wash hands before eating to avoid eating with dirt hands that may be full of germs that are diseases causing.

• After visiting the bathroom/latrine, and after handling animals or their waste, it is vital to clean hands by washing and sanitizing to kill germs.

• When someone in the household is sick, especially is the disease is contaminable, keen care of the invalid and the person taking care of them should be paramount to reduce the chances of transmitting the communicable diseases. Washing hands and airing the room is important to reduce the accumulation of disease causing germs within the room and on contact areas.

B. It is important to refraining from wading through water puddles, and stagnant waters that may be breeding places for disease causing pathogens.

C. Putting good drainage systems in place will make it difficult for stagnant water parasites to breed, for instance, bilhazia-causing snails and malaria.

D. Purifying water to remove parasites and to ensure that water is safe for consumption. It is important to stress again that clean safe water must be stored safely to ensure its purity at the time of its use.

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