How many euphemisms for poop can you think of? Well, I believe Greg Hanscom, from Grist, has just set a record in his article Next-level sh!t: Bill Gates has seen the future, and it is craptacular. It’s a really cool article, actually, and I commend it to you. There are several related pieces about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s project to build a better loo. They’ve taken the issue(s)–it’s hard to separate them as they are all part of the same scourge– of poverty, disease, starvation, child mortality, drought, sanitation… and attacked the least-attractive common denominator. The Gates Foundation has committed more than $3 million in prize and R&D money to redo the loo for the estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide who live without basic sanitation.
There are an estimated 2.5 billion cases of diarrhea in children each year, and 1.5 million kids die as a result. Half of the hospital beds in the developing world are filled with people with diseases connected to poor sanitation. That’s why the Gates Foundation is spending millions of dollars to build a better loo. Check it out. MM
The Meandering Matriarch said:
I agree, Margie. The great thing about the Gates Foundation’s approach–$$ for R&D as well as a prize–is that an array of new technology has been developed, all of which can be applied according to situation. All of the teams have come up with innovative, practical solutions to choose from. Let’s hope some of our ‘developed world’ cities and towns will take note . . .
We could use better ways of disposing of human waste here in the western world too. Flushing it into our waterways isn’t a good thing in the long run.