New ways of managing waste are being tested in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal under grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s: Reinvent the Toilet Challenge.

Gates made the announcement in one of his latest gatesnotes videos where he discusses the importance of developing technologies to make toilets accessible for more communities.

“Several reinvented toilets are being tested in Durban south Africa. Durban is a good place to run these tests because the city is growing fast and many people there don’t have modern sanitation which means that even if they have access to a toilet waste can get into the environment and make people sick,” Gates explains.

New approaches to toilet technology

The Reinvent the Toilet Challenge began in 2011 when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene program sought to create an initiative that would generate and support new approaches for toilet technologies that safely and effective manage human waste.

The reinvented toilets can be installed anywhere, including in crowded urban areas, and they do not require water at all.

Some of the toilets don’t require electricity while others rely on solar power but the one thing all do is remove the pathogens from the waste proving that sanitation has diversified beyond sewers, giving people and cities flexible new options.

Sanitation key to human health

“Everybody should have great sanitation, a toilet in their house that is comfortable and doesn’t smell awful. Getting rid of that waste is key to human health. I’m optimistic that we’ll find approaches that make great sanitation available to everyone,” Gates concludes.


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