The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a $41.5 million investment towards sanitation science and technology.
According to the foundation, only one-third of the world’s population has access to flush toilets, meaning that 2.6 billion people do their business elsewhere. And elsewhere leads to a number of deadly diseases that already account for half of hospital patients in developing countries.
Knowing that it’s not feasible to provide proper running water and waste disposal to these places, the Gates Foundation is hoping to improve developing countries’ crappy sanitation problems right where they start. It’s challenging universities to develop a toilet that will not only convert urine and fecal matter into safe material, but to convert the waste into energy and clean water, all with a cost of no more than $0.05 a day.
Here’s a fun video below from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that introduces the challenge:
Gates Foundation blog post: Let’s Reinvent the Toilet…