Bill Gates foundation invests in solar powered toilet for the developing world
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp, who also happens to be the world’s biggest private philanthropist, is aiming to lead the developing world into a new phase with his work on sanitation and toilets. He handed down $100,000 as prize money to the California Institute of Technology recently for its work on a self-contained, sun-powered system that recycles water and breaks down human waste into storable energy. His initiative comes in the wake of millions of children dying in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia dying each year due to sanitation problems. He stated that there has been no fundamental change in toilet technology since the conception of the flush toilet in 1775 and his foundation is investing $3.4 million for toilet projects being worked on by various organizations.
Last year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave grants to eight universities around the world to help tackle the problem by creating a hygienic toilet that uses minimal water, is affordable and is capable of transforming waste to clean water, nutrients and energy. He also bought about 200 litres of fake poo (made from soyabean paste and rice) to trial out revolutionary new toilets at the “Reinvent the Toilet Fair”. Gates also presented hefty cash prizes to organizations who helped develop efficient, working solar-bathroom models.