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Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Pledges $41.5 Million To Reinvent The Toilet

By Claire Shefchik , ThirdAge

1222 days ago   Article ID# 1133937
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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (ThirdAge) - The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched an initiative Tuesday to improve sanitation in the world's poorest countries.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the foundation's global development program, speaking at the AfricaSan 3 Conference in Rwanda, told reporters, "No innovation in the past 200 years has done more to save lives and improve health than the sanitation revolution triggered by the invention of the toilet. But it did not go far enough. It only reached one-third of the world. What we need are new approaches, new ideas. In short, we need to reinvent the toilet."

The foundation has pledged $41.5 million to the program, which will focus on the 2.6 billion people worldwide who lack access to safe, reliable toilet facilities, according to a press release. Almost 1.5 million children die each year from diarrheal disease. Access to safe sanitation improves school attendance and reduces chilhood illness by 30 percent.

The foundation will partner up with communities worldwide to develop new, cost-effective ideas for sanitation technology. These include waterless toilets that do not need connections to sewers, and hygienic waste processing, including converting waste in fertilizer, fresh water and reusable energy.

Copyright 2014 ThirdAge   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1222 days ago   Article ID# 1133937

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