Microsoft Founder and Philanthropist, Mr. Bill Gates has presented an initiative aimed at developing safer and better sanitation technologies at the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing.
“We are all here for one reason: Because more than half the world’s population doesn’t have the safe sanitation they need to lead healthy and productive lives,’’ Gates said at the expo while showing off some of the sanitation technologies he’s invested millions of dollars in.
To highlight the problem of unsafe sanitation, Gates shared the stage during his presentation with a glass beaker containing human faeces.
“This small amount of faeces could contain as many as 200 trillion rotavirus cells, 20 billion Shigella bacteria and 100,000 parasitic worm eggs,” he said, adding that places without proper sanitation have far more than a beaker’s worth of pathogens in the environment.
The new technologies aim to “leapfrog’’ sanitation standards such as flushing, sewers and treatment plants in order to create clean and safe toilets that are still affordable.
One of the results of Gates’ investment is the “Reinvented Toilet,’’ which can kill off pathogens in human faeces and convert the remains into electricity and fertiliser that have commercial use.
The World Bank, Asian Development Bank and African Development Bank have committed to investing in the project to help in bringing the new toilets to the world’s poorest, fastest-growing regions.
“Today, we are on the cusp of a sanitation revolution,’’ Gates said.