Sanitation Saves Lives

When the civil war ended in Liberia in 2003, the populations in the slums skyrocketed and people were left with few options for obtaining clean water or proper locations to use the bathroom. A decade later, much of the population is still impoverished and lacking access to the basic needs of potable water and a sanitary living area, which affects the health of the population as a whole. 


In 2012, the World Health Organization discovered that E. coli was present in 58 percent of the city’s water due to public defecation. This spreads illness such as diarrhea and perpetuates the issue, creating a cycle of illness through dirty water. Sanitation is vital in helping to stop the spread of disease. One in four Liberians has access to safe drinking water and half of all Liberians have no access to a toilet and use streams or open areas. As many as 1 in 5 deaths are blamed on water and sanitation issues.

Effective sanitation and access to clean water can greatly decrease the number of Liberians who need medical care due to unsafe water conditions as well as improve the quality of life and health of all Liberians. With sanitation and access to proper bathrooms, diarrhea and similar issues caused by unclean water would decrease, which allow health workers to focus on other serious or life-threatening diseases and symptoms.

Efforts to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene interact with each other to boost overall health. Access to sanitation, such as latrines in communities, prevents drinking water contaminated from human waste and reduces infections. Frequent hand-washing with soap and the ability to safely store drinking water are low-tech but high-impact public health practices. Implementing such low-tech changes in both rural and urban areas can create far-reaching, long-term improvements. 

Posted on March 31, 2016 .

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It Starts with Water


Written By Hibba Abbas

Clean water is the essential ingredient for life on this planet, but it is becoming an increasingly scarce resource in Africa. Our body is approximately 60 percent water, our brain is 70 percent water, and our lungs are nearly 90 percent water. Each day, our body must replace 2.4 liters of water or about 2.5 quarts of water. 


In Africa millions of poor are forced to collect contaminated water from drains, ditches and streams suffer a deprivation that threatens life, destroys opportunity and severely undermines human dignity. Diseases from dirty water kill more people every year than all forms of violence. Nearly 30,000 children die each day because of contaminated water. In Africa, having access to clean water can give communities more time to grow food, earn an income, and go to school.

We as a community can help please visit to learn more about self-sufficient solutions for education, healthcare, and agriculture.