This story is both about new technology and about what happens when someone puts money into funding it. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been looking at ways to solve many world problems, but chief among them are global health issues. This year they ran a competition to inspire scientists and innovators from around the world to come up with new ideas for one of our oldest health issues: What to do with human bodily wastes.
Adequate sanitation in third world countries can be, literally, the difference between life and death. Yet in most areas in most 3rd world countries there is no running water, no sewer systems, no reliable way to have safe drinking water. You can’t just walk in and hand them all toilets. And out houses aren’t adequate to the challenge, because they don’t actually sanitize the waste.
Today was the deadline for the competition. We’ll keep an eye on it to see what brilliant solutions they come up with. You can read more about the challenge in this article from the great new site UBM Future Cities.