These diseases are largely caused by micro-organisms present in human or animal waste, which find their way into human body.

This may happen through drinking from a contaminated water supply (water borne disease), but more often faecal-oral diseases are spread through other routes, such as via hands, clothes, food, or materials used for cooking, eating or drinking. More rarely, some of these diseases may also enter the body through the eyes, nose or open wounds.

These diseases are infectious, which means that they can spread from one person to another. So high standards of hygiene and sanitation are needed to stop the disease from spreading waterborne diseases include:

(i) Typhoid fever


(ii) Giardia

(iii) Dysentery

(iv) Cholera

(v) Diarrhoea (caused by a variety of pathogens)


(vi) Hepatitis

(vii) Polio


These diseases are extremely harmful not only to a person’s health but to their productivity, and to the welfare of the community as a whole. They:


(i) Lead to severe illness and may be fatal, in the case of a severe attack.

(ii) Lower the body’s resistance to infection and disease.

(iii) Lower the body’s intake of nourishment, and may lead to malnutrition (especially in children)

(iv) Decrease individual and social productivity.


(v) Hamper children’s education.

(vi) Increase health expenditure.