Habitat for Humanity recognises the importance of water and sanitation in good health, and this is why we prioritize this area when helping homeowners improve their living environment. When an applicant does not meet the full criteria for a new build, we work with them to make gradual improvements to their current structure, beginning with Water, Sanitation and Health interventions.
One of our most popular services is our community Healthy Housing Habits training. In the 8-part series of community meetings, we systematically take families through the process of analysing their environment critically, to see how the simplest of actions can bring significant benefits to families and neighbourhoods.
Water is the source of life, but when polluted or dirty, it carries microbes and parasites and substances that can cause disease and make us sick. It is our responsibility to keep our water safe and healthy.
When we live in healthy homes, we must have a nearby water supply of a good enough quality and enough for everyone.
We can all take action in small ways – by covering open water storage tanks, or by ensuring that the water eliminated from our toilets and showers and kitchen sinks is removed from our homes in safe and healthy ways.
We can also help our community to have safe water by asking local authorities to work with families on safe water practices.
The bathroom and toilet should include a facility that safely carries urine and faeces to the public sewer system or a properly built septic system.
It is important to have a sink where hands can be washed, preferably in the same room, or just outside of or adjacent to the toilet area. This sink should always have soap and hand sanitizer if possible available for everyone to use.
The toilet lid and the door of the room where it is located should always be kept closed when not in use.
The adequate and hygienic disposal of wastewater, as well as rainwater, reduces health risks and creates a more agreeable environment for our house and its surroundings.
Any leak that appears—whether in the shower or the toilet—should be repaired as quickly as possible, as this represents significant amounts of wasted water.
Avoid at all costs going to the toilet in the natural environment. This is dangerous to you, other people and the environment.
Do not let used water or rainwater become stagnant or exposed, as leaves, branches, garbage and domestic animals can alter its course or cause it to overflow, resulting in serious issues with bad smells, contamination, and even damage to the home or neighbourhood.
For more useful tips, or to request a Healthy Housing Habit workshop, check out our website at habitat-tt.org or our Facebook Page @HabitatTNT and call 675-1222 to learn more!