So Bill Gates has some issues withe the almighty porcelain throne! He wants us to reinvent the toilet and is giving $42 million to the effort. It’s not about trying to reduce the time men retreat to throne to read the newspaper seeking some peace and quiet nor is it about reducing the time women spend in groups in the bathroom. Surprisingly, it’s about justice to some extent. Water is becoming a rare commodity on earth and the flush toilet, which those of us who are “rich” tend to us them often, while those who are in the developing world and are poor tend use a latrine or an open field – both which require no water.
The toilet is one of the great invention in the past few hundred years that has had an incredibly positive impact on the health of our society as sanitation is a critical factor in health. Sanitation brings substantial economic benefits. According to the World Health Organization, improved sanitation can produce up to $9 for every $1 invested by increasing productivity, reducing health care costs, and preventing illness, disability, and early death.
The challenge is quite substantial, but getting the cost of a toilet that doesn’t use piped water, sewers to dispose the waste, and no electricity down to only 5 cents a day is monumental. Check it out here.
This is worth getting excited about and worth investing creativity and skills in. What are your ideas?