Time to Get Our Sh*t Together

South Africa toilet. Photo: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“It’s time to get our sh*t together and focus on sanitation”, is the message that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is bringing to the World Water Forum  Marseilles.

The lack of progress on sanitation, which was reconfirmed by the 2012 JMP Update, is what originally fueled the foundation’s call to action to “reinvent the toilet.” To us, reinventing the toilet is not just about science and technology, it’s about a whole new approach to working with poor communities in urban and rural areas of the developing world to create affordable, sustainable, and aspirational sanitation solutions.

The Gates Foundation has turned the usual distribution of funding and advocacy for WASH programmes on its head by committing 90% of its WASH funding to sanitation, write staff members Frank Rijsberman and Sara Rogge.

The Foundation is focussing on the following components to achieve its long term vision of providing sustainable sanitation services for all:

  • Explore and Implement Sanitation without Sewers
  • End Open Defecation
  • Provide Sustainable Services at Scale
  • Promote Sanitation as a Business
  • Cooperate and Partner

In 2011, the Gates Foundation committed US$ 120 million in new commitments, grants and contracts, 90% of which was focused on sanitation, including:

  • US$ 79 million for Sanitation Science and Technology, including grants to 8 universities to develop prototypes of affordable toilets that don’t need to be connected to sewers
  • US$ 47 million for Delivery Models at Scale by implementing demand-led sanitation programmes, which aim to end open defecation for 30 million people by 2015
  • US$ 18 million for Policy & Advocacy grants that support sanitation policy development and advocacy campaigns

Read the full details of Gates Foundation message for the World Water Forum here

Use the following links to read more about the Gates Foundations’s WASH  strategy and awarded grants

Source: Frank Rijsberman and Sara Rogge, Impatient Optimists, 12 Mar 2012

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2 responses to “Time to Get Our Sh*t Together

  1. Pingback: Louis Boorstin, deputy director of water, sanitation & hygiene at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks about lessons learned in tackling the global sanitation crisis. « Washlink

  2. Pingback: SuSanA Releases Compilation of 13 factsheets on key sustainable sanitation topics « Washlink

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