Investing in sanitation is extremely important for the development of a country. The reason that justifies this statement is simple: only in this way is it possible to provide more quality of life for the population. Having a good water supply, treating sewage, draining rainwater, and collecting waste are fundamental services that require investment today.
There are many advantages to investing in sanitation, which include environmental, social, and economic aspects. It is about them that we will talk about in this post! Be sure to follow and understand more about this very relevant subject!
1. Eradication of diseases
According to a survey carried out by the Informatics Department of the Unified Health System (DATASUS), more than 100 diseases can be avoided when sanitation services are present in the municipalities.
When there is no access to treated water, the population is exposed to various viruses and bacteria that transmit diseases. Among the diseases transmitted by contaminated water, we can highlight leptospirosis, diarrhea, hepatitis A, worms, skin mycoses, etc.
The lack of sewage collection and treatment is also a problem. When sewage runs in the open, people are exposed to disease-causing microorganisms that thrive in unhealthy environments. In addition, these environments are favorable for the reproduction of mosquitoes that transmit diseases such as dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya.
Thus, one of the main advantages of investing in sanitation is the eradication or reduction of the occurrence of diseases in the population, as well as a reduction in outbreaks and epidemics.
2. Increased quality of life
Access to quality water from taps and the collection and treatment of sewage means that people have a significant improvement in the quality of life. There are gains in health and well-being that even reflect on education and work.
This relationship in general goes unnoticed, but it is a fact that access to basic sanitation provides better job opportunities and positively influences education indicators. As we saw above, with more sanitation, people are less sick. Thus, children and adults are less absent and perform better in their jobs and studies, which allow more chances for a better future.
Those who live in areas without access to services are more likely to experience delays in school and loss of productivity. This is a problem that impacts even future generations.
Regions with a good investment in sanitation and good water supply also tend to have more beautiful landscapes and preserved water resources. All of these aspects bring more quality of life to the population.
3. Improvement in health indicators
According to a study, about 65% of children’s hospitalizations are caused by basic sanitation problems, such as the difficulty of access to treated drinking water and collection of sewage, waste disposal land other treatment services.
Diarrhea alone is responsible for the death of 361,000 children under the age of 5 worldwide annually. Access to sewage collection and treated water could prevent 88% of these deaths. Figures like these are worrying and reflect on infant mortality rates and public expenditure on hospital admissions.
Among the main advantages of investing in sanitation is the improvement of these indicators. More than numbers, it is necessary to reverse what they represent, that is, the high mortality rate of people and the burden on the public health system.
4. Increase in the Human Development Index
The Human Development Index (HDI) classifies countries into two types: developed or underdeveloped. It takes into account a number of factors, such as population life expectancy, per capita income, etc. Thus, countries receive a kind of score, ranging from 0 to 1. The closer this number is to 1, the better the country’s HDI.
When there is an investment in sanitation, there are improvements in health, employability, and the environment, with positive impacts on the economy and the quality of life of the population. Therefore, there is an increase in the Human Development Index.
5. Reduced public health spending
As a result of the drop in disease occurrences, hospital admissions in the public health system also decrease. Therefore, there is a reduction in public health spending, money that can be used to improve the population.
6. Preservation of the environment
Did you know that most of the water bodies and rivers have water considered as bad or very bad?
In addition, a river or stream that suffers some contamination impacts the survival of several species in a food chain, which can affect an entire ecosystem. For the population, this could mean an outbreak of disease or an infestation of insects or pests, for example.
Environmental degradation is one of the most visible impacts of the lack of sanitation.
Because of this, there is a need to raise awareness about the need to invest in sanitation, so that the environment is preserved and more rivers are not polluted and habitats and ecosystems are destroyed.
7. Stimulating tourism
Investment in sanitation also encourages tourism in the regions. The justification for this is that rivers, lakes, and seas will be cleansed and natural landscapes will become more beautiful and attractive.
In places with beaches suitable for bathing, for example, properties linked to water distribution and sewage collection networks are more valued, with positive results even in the real estate market. In addition, with valued tourism, income generation increases for workers in the sector and for local traders.
These are the great advantages of investing in sanitation. Knowing them is important to understand and reflect on our responsibilities for the preservation of natural resources and to demand access to quality basic public services. All of these results indirectly impact the quality of life of entire communities, and it is for this reason that the subject receives even more relevance and should be seen as a collective agenda.