Bill Gates is famous for many reasons such as being the founder of Microsoft, being named the world’s richest person for over a decade in the late nineties, and for the $26 billion of grants made by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Things to be proud of indeed, but the determination to change the world doesn’t end there for Bill Gates and The Foundation. A key focus area of The Foundation right now is on making a revolutionary toilet (yes we aren’t joking). Lets analyze what caused Bill Gates to get into this toilet thing and whether he would succeed in making a revolutionary toilet or not!
2.6 Billion Affected
It’s estimated that as many as 2.6 billion people in the world do not have easy access to a hygienic method of relieving themselves. What this lack of sanitation causes is diseases (like diarrhea and typhoid) that spread and tragically cost the lives of millions, majority of which are children.
However, by creating a revolutionary toilet The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will not only improve the lives of many, but will indeed save the lives of millions of people in the third world.
Recently Gates awarded the prize of $100,000 to the California Institute of Technology in recognition of their efforts on a toilet powered by the sun. There are high hopes that this toilet will be pivotal in achieving The Foundations’ aim of improving the health of those in developing areas of the world. Recycling water and breaking down human waste into a form of energy that can be stored are but a few of the elements of the new design.
Traditional 18th century porcelain flush toilets used in the Western world are unsuitable in third world countries due to the vast sewerage systems and amount of water needed for their successful operation.
Prizes were also awarded to the University of Toronto and Loughborough University for their efforts in converting human waste into practical resources. Gates is looking to universities to collaborate and arrive at the optimum solution for this most pressing issue, with a view to innovative toilet solutions being in practical use within two years at best and four years at worst.
With $6.5 million invested in ‘Reinvent the Toilet Challenge’, it’s clear that Gates is serious about getting behind new toilet technology. Gates has inspired as many as 8 universities to thrash out the issue of how to create a toilet that remains hygienic whilst requiring only a limited amount of water (if any at all). In addition, The Foundation is hoping for a toilet that is so revolutionary it can turn waste into some form of useful energy, whilst being cost effective and safe among other things.
Bill Gates will be remembered for so many things but none more so than his astounding level of commercial success that has been channeled into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is reported to have committed in excess of $26 billion in grants from the beginning of Gates’ philanthropic efforts dating back to 1994.
The Foundation has also encouraged other wealthy individuals to contribute large sums of money to assist various projects for the betterment of mankind, and with such monumental generosity there is hope for even the most disadvantaged of the world’s population and that is a gift all on its own.