Last month the Gates foundation announced a $42 million project over several years to develop a toilet that doesn't need water, mains power or sewerage and that will cost next to nothing to maintain. Unfortunately they dont simply want a compost toilet.
The modern flush toilet and sewerage system was invented in the 18th century and is credited with saving more lives than any other advance in healthcare. However, there are still some 2.6 billion people around the world who have to use pit latrines or defecate in the open. They either dont have enough water or
The new toilet must not use water, require expensive infrastructure of a sewerage system, doesn’t need to be connected to mains electricity and, unlike composting toilets, not need lots of space and time.
Inadequate sanitation causes an estimated 1.5million children to die each year due to diarrhoeal diseases. But with water scarce - 1.6 billion people currently live on less than one thousand litres of water a year and by 2020, experts predict that this figure will rise to between 3.2 and 4.6 billion (the average Briton uses 55,000) - toilets that flush the problem away, using precious water and expensive infrastructure, are clearly not the answer.
Loughbouough University has got £250,000 for their part. Loughborough is the only British university to receive this award and is among eight prestigious institutions worldwide to receive a grant for the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, which calls upon experts to prototype, conceptualize and design innovative ways and means of disposing human waste in the developing world.
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