Bill Gates puts up $400m for safer sanitation

Elias Hubbard
November 9, 2018

The reason of spending the heavy amount is the number of diseases poor sanitation can cause that kills 50,000 children under the age of five each year and costs the world over $200 billion annually in the healthcare costs and lost income.

One approach from the California Institute of Technology that Gates said he finds "super interesting" integrates an electrochemical reactor to break down water and human waste into fertilizer and hydrogen, which can be stored in hydrogen fuel cells as energy.

"All of them remove the pathogens from the waste and, most importantly, they don't have to be connected to the sewer system", Gates added. The convention boasted new products that challenge the traditional sanitation methods, which the World Health Organization says still eludes 2.3 billion people around the world - a problem that leads to the spread of deadly diseases.

"In rich countries we have sewers that take clean water in, flush some of the dirty water out, in nearly all cases there's a treatment plant", he said.

"Innovative companies have a golden opportunity to do well by doing good", LIXIL President Kinya Seto said in a statement.

"It's no longer a question of if we can reinvent the toilet and other sanitation systems", Gates told the BBC.

The Bill and Milinda Gates foundation addressed for the first time in China Event.

The Gates Foundation hopes to instal reinvented toilets in schools and apartment buildings until they become cheap enough for individual families to afford. "It's a question of how quickly this new category of off-grid solutions will scale", he said. "In nearly all cases there is a treatment plan", Gates said.

At the expo, China-based EcoSan, U.S. -based Sedron Technologies, and other worldwide companies announced the availability of reinvented toilets and small-scale waste treatment plants (omni-processors) for sale to public and private entities.

Opening the three-day Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing on Tuesday, he said his charity had already spent US$200 million on research and development into sanitation technology to bring down the cost of providing clean and safe facilities in developing countries, especially areas without sewers.

"10 years ago I never thought I'd be so much to know about poop".

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Other reports by Click Lancashire

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