timesofummah.com – 7 out of 10 Indonesian households consume drinking water contaminated with feces. Water is a basic need in human life. In addition to household needs, water is also consumed so that the body can function normally. Good drinking water does not only look clean or clear, but must also be free of contaminants, such as germs.
Recent studies show that 70 percent of households in Indonesia consume drinking water contaminated with bacteria commonly found in feces. Here’s an explanation.
1. Studies show that 70 percent of Indonesian households consume drinking water contaminated with fecal waste
Quoting the explanation from the Indonesian Ministry of Health (Kemenkes), the existence of springs and groundwater is decreasing. On the other hand, the use of groundwater must also be limited due to land subsidence. Water problems are not only in terms of quantity but also in terms of water quality.
Based on the results of the Household Drinking Water Quality Study (SKAMRT) in Indonesia in 2020, it is estimated that 7 out of 10 Indonesian households consume drinking water contaminated with E. coli bacteria. The study was conducted by the Center for Research and Development of Public Health Efforts Research and Development Agency of the Ministry of Health.
The decline in water quality can be caused by pollution, one of which is related to inadequate access to sanitation and open defecation.
2. As many as 21 percent of the world’s population does not have basic sanitation
Sanitation and hygiene are essential for health, survival and development. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that as many as 1.7 billion people worldwide, or about 21 percent of the world’s population, do not have basic sanitation, such as private toilets. Of these, 494 million people defecate in the open, for example in bushes or rivers.
Basic sanitation is access to faecal and urine disposal facilities that are safe and capable of maintaining hygienic conditions through waste collection and wastewater treatment and disposal. Meanwhile, around 2.3 billion people worldwide or around 29 percent of the world’s population do not have access to basic hygiene, such as a place to wash their hands with water and soap at home.
3. Faeces that are not managed properly can pollute the environment and water
Even though Indonesia has made progress regarding basic sanitation, the safe management of fecal waste is relatively low. Quoting UNICEF’s explanation, the number of households that have a toilet with a closed septic tank connection or a closed septic tank and the tank is cleaned regularly at least once in 5 years is still low, namely less than 8 percent.
This results in fecal waste not being managed properly so that it pollutes the environment and the surrounding water. Low awareness of health risks due to inadequate management of septic tanks and drainage is one of the main challenges in increasing access to sanitation.
4. Polluted water and poor sanitation are associated with disease transmission
Unsafe water can contain germs, parasites or toxic chemicals. Disease-causing germs, parasites, and chemicals can enter through a variety of sources, including feces, pesticides, and other chemicals.
Contaminated water and poor sanitation are linked to the transmission of several diseases, including cholera, typhoid and polio.
Diarrhea is one of the causes of death in children under five. The main risk factors for diarrhea at this age include consuming unsafe water and poor sanitation. Germs that cause diarrhea are usually spread through food or drink contaminated with feces.
5. The importance of managing wastewater and improving sanitation
Adequate wastewater management and sewerage systems play an important role in sanitation and disease prevention. This is because waste water with feces can contaminate the environment and the drinking water supply so that it carries the risk of carrying disease germs.
There are many benefits from improving sanitation, apart from reducing the risk of diarrhea. These benefits include:
- Reducing the transmission of worm infections.
- Reducing the severity of malnutrition.
- Reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
The quality of drinking water can be affected by inadequate management of fecal waste water which pollutes the environment including water. Polluted water and poor sanitation are linked to disease transmission. Good faecal wastewater management can prevent fecal contamination into the surrounding environment.