Sanitation is crucially interlinked with health and nutrition in more ways than one may immediately realise. In India alone, the lethal effects of the link between inadequate sanitation and ill-health is visible in some very dismal numbers, especially in the health of India’s children.
Brazil and India have similar trajectories in industrialisation, population, rapid urbanisation and the need to implement quick solutions for civic issues. But Brazil has cracked the urban sanitation demon, providing workable solutions for its society and lessons for India.
Superbugs and drug-resistant bacteria are one of the biggest threats to human health across the world right now. There is growing evidence that shows a link between antimicrobial resistance and the use of biocidal chemical cleaners. We have actually been cleaning our way to ill-health all this while.
Poor sanitation, lack of access to clean water, and inadequate personal hygiene are responsible for an estimated 88% of childhood diarrhea in India. Taking action to improve health requires understanding the factors that influence exposure to faecal pathogens and the various pathways in which they are exposed to human beings.
It is crucial to examine what goes into our waste water, and know and understand where it goes once it leaves our home. It is time to start examining what we put in our cleaning products and how toxic the waste water we create is. Because the health of our waterways, oceans and all the living beings depends on it.
With limited access to sanitation facilities, Nigeria has historically been among the top countries in the world seeing open defecation. Apart from the environmental challenges, this is also blooming into a full-blown health crisis for the country.
Air pollution in India has been at drastic levels for a while now. The Government has been taking baby steps to counter this. But this is not enough. We need urgent and immediate measures to reverse this and as with everything else, change happens at an individual level.
It’s hard to imagine a world without water – how will we manage the crisis and what it will mean for us as a race. And yet, not enough is being done, and not soon enough, to address this urgently.
Biodiversity matters simply because without it we would not exist. However, this naturally balanced web of interdependence has suffered a lot due to an explosion in human population and a spike in the demand for natural resources.
Every year when the monsoons roll along, we are reminded of Mumbai’s sheer lack of effective and well-managed sanitation. And the rampant spread of diseases like dengue and diarrhoea that comes with inefficient sanitation.