The genius behind the personal computer revolution is now putting his muscle behind the toilet. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, is pledging $42 million in grants through The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to reinvent the toilet.
Gates is turning his talent for inventing cutting-edge products to this unglamorous contraption because his foundation hopes to create effective solutions for sanitation in poor urban areas. The foundation is now investigating technologies that address every part of sanitation including creating waterless, hygienic toilets that are not dependent on sewer connections. Many of the solutions being tested involve leading-edge technology that could turn human waste into fuel to power local communities or convert it to fertilizer to improve crops.
Did you know 40% of the world’s population still live without proper means of flushing away waste? Unsafe methods to capture and store waste lead to significant health problems and death. By jump-starting the initiative to provide safe and affordable access to sanitation, the foundation’s efforts for improved hygiene could prevent millions of deaths.
This most recent philanthropic project will immediately benefit Kenya and provide 800,000 people there with access to sanitation facilities and ensure clean drinking water for 200,000.
I for one am glad to know Bill Gates is not taking his retirement from Microsoft sitting down. An invention like this could improve the health of billions of people. As the creative video here suggests, it looks like Gates’ foundation is getting its shit together.