Gates reinvents the toilet

by Staff
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As reported in The Daily Mail

Bill Gates, the world’s leading private philanthropist, is betting the future of sanitation in the third world will be solar powered.

The Microsoft co-founder handed a $100,000 (£64,000) prize to the California Institute of Technology yesterday for its work on a sun-powered toilet stall.

Mr Gates hopes self-contained unit, which recycles water and breaks down human waste into storable energy, can become a core part of his foundation’s push to improve health in the developing world.












Gates Foundation Toilet

Lack of sanitation causes 1.5million children under 5 to die each year, said Mr Gates, and Western-style toilets are not the answer as they require complex sewer infrastructure and use too much water.

That’s why Mr Gates is backing new inventions in toilet technology, which he says has not fundamentally changed since the invention of the flushing toilet in 1775.

‘Imagine what’s possible if we continue to collaborate, stimulate new investment in this sector, and apply our ingenuity in the years ahead,’ Mr Gates said at his foundation’s Seattle headquarters yesterday.

‘Many of these innovations will not only revolutionise sanitation in the developing world, but also help transform our dependence on traditional flush toilets in wealthy nations.’

His foundation announced $3.4million (£2.2million) in funding for toilet projects, bringing total investment in its ‘Reinvent the Toilet Challenge’ to about $6.5million (£4.1million).

About 2.6billion people, or 40 per cent of world’s population – mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia – lack access to safe sanitation, according to Mr Gates.


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