Open defecation as a challenge for public health and sanitation is widespread globally, and more specifically in developing countries. There are some problems which may be more severe with regards to child health. The effects of this on millions of children facing the dangers of open defecation every day are staggering. This article will look at risks to children’s health caused by open defecation and suggest various approaches including the introduction of new technology like bio toilets.
The Alarming Global Scenario
In many countries around the globe, people are accustomed to open defecation. As noted by UNICEF and WHO over 20 percent of the globe’s inhabitants practice open-air defecation with half of them residing in South Asia. It puts children in contact with several diseases.
Child Health at Risk
Open defecation has proven to be the worst enemy of children, as they are the most susceptible victims. Such an act directly leads to soil and water pollution as well. This subsequently puts waterborne conditions such as diarrhea, cholera, and dysentery at high risk in children. They are often fatal for children and this burden is heavy, taking into account limited access to healthcare facilities in some regions.
In addition, open defecation affects the health of children physically and mentally. Open defecation exposes children to possible bodily harm and psychological trauma that result in poor health. Lack of toilets or poor sanitary facilities in the schools also contributes to this as some students especially girls remain at home during the menstruation period.
The Bio Toilet Revolution
New sanitation options are being developed in the fight against open defecation, and they provide some hope regarding children’s health. An example of such a solution is the use of bio-toilets. It aims to overcome the health and environmental problems associated with the open-defecation process by converting human waste into clean useful outputs.
Microbially assisted bio-toilets use microbiological degradation to turn human wastes into useful biogas (carbon dioxide) and a clean discharge. These systems have several advantages in terms of improving child health and sanitation:
● Health and Hygiene: It is possible to avoid disease outbreaks that might derive from open defecation by adapting bio-toilets. The clean environment that such sanitation provides significantly reduces the possibility of catching any water-borne diseases for kids’ health.
● Privacy and Dignity: It helps in tackling the adverse effects of open defecation on young children emotionally and psychologically. It can improve their physical image, mental health, and self-esteem.
● Environmental Sustainability: On the other hand, the use of bio-toilet does not pollute soil and water sources. In addition, it generates biogas which is an available renewable energy to communities.
● Sanitation in Schools: This refers to bio-sewage tanks and toilets for schools which will enable students to have access to good sanitation facilities.
● Community Health: The use of bio-toilets in communities improves public health by reducing the spread of diseases and improving the well-being of households.
Banka Bio, a pioneering company, provides innovative Bio Toilets, offering eco-friendly sanitation solutions for a healthier and more sustainable future.
Success Stories Across India
Bio toilets have proven useful in many nations for sanitation schemes. Particularly, India has greatly improved in this aspect. One of the most notable initiatives in this arena was the “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” that started in 2014 to bring an end to open defecation nationwide.
The project saw the construction of bio-toilets in public areas, schools, and in the communities at large thereby reducing open defecation and improving child health.
Bio toilet’s success is a result of coming up with a simple and workable solution for the seemingly complicated problem. Bio toilets address the health risks and help in having a sustainable sanitation practice because they convert human wastes into eco-friendly by-products.
Banka Bio‘s Bio Toilets promote cleaner, greener, and more hygienic sanitation practices.
Challenges and the Way Forward
Bio toilet system installation and maintenance are costly and demand resources. Changing the attitudes and habits around open defecation is also a difficult job.
To overcome these challenges and further improve child health, it is essential to:
● Promote Awareness: The public should be made aware that open defection is harmful and that there is a need for installing bio toilets. This shall entail information related to health hazards faced by such children.
● Government Initiatives: Therefore, governments should be at the forefront of initiating bio toilets. They should develop policies that will drive the adoption with an increase in financial support.
● Community Involvement: Having communities involved in installing and operating the bio-toilets makes them feel that they own it and thus will care for its sustainability.
● Monitoring and Evaluation: It is very important to monitor and evaluate children’s health and sanitation for purposes of assessing of impacts of bio toilets.
● Research and Innovation: It is possible and worthwhile to improve a more affordable and effective bio-toilet system through constant research and innovations.
Child health and safety are at risk due to open defecation. This leads to waterborne diseases, physical injuries, as well as emotional trauma and children are the most susceptible to these health effects. Bio-toilet offers an ideal solution for dealing with these problems.