The John. The commode. The crapper. Whatever you call it, toilets are a necessary (but sometimes overlooked) aspect of modern-day civilization. That being said, it hasn’t received a complete overhaul in many years. Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, thinks there is room for improvement to effectively help almost half of the world’s population, if not everyone in the long term.
“The flush toilets we use in the wealthy world are irrelevant, impractical and impossible for 40 percent of the global population, because they often don’t have access to water, and sewers, electricity and sewage treatment systems.”
Gates, along with his charitable foundation are on a quest to build a better toilet. The main purpose of this mission is to provide the entire world with access to safe sanitation systems and reduce the health problems associated with lack of proper waste removal. Approximately 2.5 billion people worldwide are affected by this problem as their food and water supplies are tainted with human waste, killing more than 1.5 million children annually.
“Beyond a question of human dignity, this lack of access also endangers people’s lives, creates an economic and a health burden for poor communities, and hurts the environment,” Gates said. The Bill Gates Foundation gave $100,000 to the California Institute of Technology for their research and development of a solar-powered toilet system, capable of recycling used water and breaking down waste into energy.