Have you wondered why we have always been told to clean up after ourselves and to tidy our bedrooms, classrooms, toilets, kitchens and surroundings?
For the younger person who wants to play the fastest games or read the latest novels, sanitation seems like a chore to dread, but for some people, it seems like a personal affair because their rooms and other parts of their home must be squeaky clean.
On the other hand, citizens may think that the major roads in their cities or towns, and other public facilities are the government’s business and so they can be littered for the waste management workers and cleaners to take care of.
Thankfully, a handful of people faithfully and responsibly ensure that their vicinity is kept clean and disinfected to the best of their ability and resources.
Whichever case you fall into, sanitation is key. Beyond arrangement and clearing of littered waste, sanitation includes getting rid of microorganisms through disinfecting.
Every person on earth has the responsibility to keep earth clean irrespective of age, race, tribe or social status. While you may decide to adhere to this or flout it, there are consequences for whatever path you decide to take.
Sanitation falls into these two main categories: environmental sanitation and behavioural/personal sanitation and hygiene, and both are very important.
Poor sanitation exposes you to infections. Germs and bacteria thrive in a dirty habitat and on dirty surfaces. If you entertain dirt around you, you have a higher possibility of contracting infections and affecting your health negatively.
Infections occur when contaminated food or water is taken into the body. Unwashed hands can also carry microorganisms into the mouth through food, objects/substances or touch.
People in areas where open defecation is still practiced as a result of inadequate toilet facilities or none at all are at higher risks of being infected with deadly diseases.
Common diseases contracted as a result of poor hygiene (whether as a result of open defecation or not) are diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera and dysentery. Poor sanitation also contributes to stunted growth and malnutrition in children.
Poor hygiene also affects other areas of life such as economy, career and education. It might seem confusing after the first read but it is not. Treating diarrhoeal diseases will cost you money and can lead to greater losses such as loss of life if not treated well or on time.
Career opportunities and learning can also be hampered when there is fecal incontinence that requires the patient to have a restroom within a short radius.
Another disadvantage of uncleanliness is that it depicts the underdevelopment and uncivilization of a society. You can know the mindset of a person just by studying their environment. If a community is unkempt and there is trash littered around, it communicates that the people in that place are not developed and they are lacking in civilization.
It also means the same thing individually. What your personal space looks like reflects the kind of person you are and your capabilities. It reveals your organization skills, level of proactivity and responsibility.
Environmental sanitation is achievable. Our collective personal hygiene accumulates into good environmental health to our benefit and to the benefit of the earth also.
You can be responsible towards a healthy environment by:
- Washing your hands and sanitize regularly especially after using the restroom.
- Disposing trash properly and do not litter the environment.
- Ensuring that every item is where it should be by arranging and organizing regularly.
- Making use of toilet facilities and avoid open defecation.
- Pledging donations to build public toilets within the reach of members of the society that will be maintained for the health of the people.
READ ALSO: Social Awareness: Being A Responsible Citizen Of Nigeria