Tag Archives: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Will better sanitaton and nutrition reduce stunting?

Zimbabwe SHINE trial - Cornell University

Photo: Cornell University

A trial is underway in Zimbabwe to measure the independent and combined effects of improved sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and improved infant diet on stunting and anemia among children 0-18 months old [Cornell University CENTIR Group blog].

The Sanitation, Hygiene and Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) Trial is led by the Zvitambo Institute for Maternal and Child Health Research in Harare, Zimbabwe in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Child Care/Government of Zimbabwe. Other contracted experts include Sandy Cairncross, Val Curtis and Peter Morgan.

The SHINE Trial is being undertaken in Chirumanzu and Shurugw, two districts with high HIV prevalence. Besides investigating the effects of sanitation and nutrition, SHINE will also test whether Environmental Enteric Dysfunction (EED)is a major cause of a major cause of child undernutrition. EED, also called environmental enteropathy, is a condition believed to be due to frequent intestinal infections.

SHINE is being being funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). There are additional contributions from Wellcome Trust, National Institutes of Health, and the Swiss Development Cooperation.

A special open access supplement of Clinical Infectious Diseases is devoted to SHINE containing the following articles:

  • The Sanitation Hygiene Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) Trial Team, doi:10.1093/cid/civ844
  • Design of an Intervention to Minimize Ingestion of Fecal Microbes by Young Children in Rural Zimbabwe, doi:10.1093/cid/civ845
  • The SHINE Trial Infant Feeding Intervention: Pilot Study of Effects on Maternal Learning and Infant Diet Quality in Rural Zimbabwe, doi:10.1093/cid/civ846
  • Using Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis Methods to Assess Household Water Access and Sanitation Coverage in the SHINE Trial, doi:10.1093/cid/civ847
  • Assessment of Environmental Enteric Dysfunction in the SHINE Trial: Methods and Challenges, doi:10.1093/cid/civ848
  • The Potential Role of Mycotoxins as a Contributor to Stunting in the SHINE Trial, doi:10.1093/cid/civ849
  • Assessing the Intestinal Microbiota in the SHINE Trial, doi:10.1093/cid/civ850
  • Assessing Maternal Capabilities in the SHINE Trial: Highlighting a Hidden Link in the Causal Pathway to Child Health, doi:10.1093/cid/civ851
  • Theory-Driven Process Evaluation of the SHINE Trial Using a Program Impact Pathway Approach, doi:10.1093/cid/civ716

SuSanA announces new project database as a one-stop shop for information on sanitation projects

A sanitation project database is now available on the website of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA). It aims to make  information about sanitation projects of all organizations available in one central location.

The project database currently contains 220 projects. 80% of these have the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as their funding source, due to the fact that the database development was part of a BMGF grant to Stockholm Environment Institute.

Continue reading

A toilet for 66 million people in rural Bangladesh

BRAC staff member on a household visit

BRAC staff member on a household visit

ik_pictureIn Bangladesh, the largest NGO in the world BRAC is working its way up to help the country to get proper sanitation. It has reached more than half of the population since the start 9 years ago. It is one of the world’s largest sanitation implementation programmes. IRC works with BRAC to make it happen. In this interview, IRC sanitation expert Ingeborg Krukkert tells her story about her work in Bangladesh. ”

Bangladesh is well on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals in 2030,” says Ingeborg Krukkert in IRC’s headquarters in The Hague. “This is undeniably due to BRAC because it’s serving half of the country. Bangladesh is a good example for others on how to achieve so much in such a short time. It is proof that change is possible.”

IRC’s Sanitation and hygiene specialist for Asia, Ingeborg Krukkert, travels to Bangladesh every two months to work with BRAC. Working on hygiene promotion and behavior change, she complements BRAC’s groundbreaking programme with IRC’s monitoring system to measure and enhance the true impact in sanitation and hygiene. Continue reading

Bill Gates – This Ingenious Machine Turns Feces Into Drinking Water

Bill Gates – This Ingenious Machine Turns Feces Into Drinking Water | Source: Gates Notes, January 5, 2015|

An excerpt – I watched the piles of feces go up the conveyer belt and drop into a large bin. They made their way through the machine, getting boiled and treated. A few minutes later I took a long taste of the end result: a glass of delicious drinking water.

The occasion was a tour of a facility that burns human waste and produces water and electricity (plus a little ash). I have visited lots of similar sites, like power plants and paper mills, so when I heard about this one—it’s part of the Gates Foundation’s effort to improve sanitation in poor countries—I was eager to check it out.

Why would anyone want to turn waste into drinking water and electricity?

Because a shocking number of people, at least 2 billion, use latrines that aren’t properly drained. Others simply defecate out in the open. The waste contaminates drinking water for millions of people, with horrific consequences: Diseases caused by poor sanitation kill some 700,000 children every year, and they prevent many more from fully developing mentally and physically.

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Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India – what’s next?

Several technologies displayed at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India “will be field tested in coming months in cities across India and Africa”, writes Doulaye Koné in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) blog “Impatient Optimists”.

These include reinvented toilet technologies, pit latrine and septic tank emptying technologies, as well as sludge-to-energy processing technologies. Some of the participants at the fair in New Delhi, like the President of the Fecal Sludge Emptying Association from Senegal, wanted to buy some of the technologies on display on the spot. He was very disappointed to learn that we still need to do additional testing to validate their performances before commercialization but we were thrilled about his excitement.

Beside the field testing, the BMGF has announced a collaboration agreement with the South African government on sanitation innovation solutions. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has committed ZAR 30 million (US$ 2.7 million) to test and promote toilet technologies being developed by BMGF grantees in schools and rural communities in South Africa. BMGF is contributing US$ 1 million to support the testing of technologies selected. South Africa’s Water Research Commission is the implementing agency.

“In terms of rural school sanitation, the technologies will be demonstrated in the Cofimvaba district in the Eastern Cape as part of the Technology for Rural Education Development project,” the department said. “The technologies will also be demonstrated in the 23 district municipalities that have been identified by the government as critical in terms of service delivery.”

More information on BMGF sanitation grantees is avaialable on SuSanA.org.


  • Doulaye Koné , What Happened at the “Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India” and What’s Next?, Impatient Optimists, 11 Apr 2004
  • South Africa, Gates Foundation to ‘reinvent the toilet’, SouthAfrica.info, 28 Mar 2014


Modernising urban sanitation in Southern Bangladesh

SNV-Modernising-Urban-SanitationA new project promises to provide one million people in Bangladesh with an improved living environment and access to safe faecal sludge management. The project will also give 250,000 people access to improved sanitation facilities and use market-based solutions to generate biogas from sludge.

SNV Bangladesh and Khulna City Corporation (KCC) launched the “Demonstration of pro-poor market- based solutions for faecal sludge management in urban centres of Southern Bangladesh” project on March 31, 2014. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) are funding the project.

Launch of SNV project Modernising Urban Sanitation in Bangladesh

Photo: SNV

Currently Khulna has no designated dumping sites or treatment facilities for faecal sludge. The city has an estimated population of 1.6 million, while 1.2 million more people live in the surrounding 36 smaller towns.  By developing faecal sludge management services in KCC, and the two small towns of Khustia and Jhenaidah in Khulna division, the four-year project aims to reform human waste management in Bangladesh.

Read more in the project brochure.

Source: SNV, 4 Apr 2014



IRC showcasing WASHCost Calculator at Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India

WASHCost Calculator

IRC’s WASHCost Project will be one of approximately 50 exhibits that will be on display during the two-day Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India. IRC will present the WASHCost Calculator; an online tool that helps professionals to plan for WASH services that are built to last.

The Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India is being co-hosted by the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It will coincide with World Water Day on March 22, 2014. The fair is also supported by the Indian Ministry of Urban Development.

In 2011, the Gates Foundation launched the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge (RTTC)  to develop toilets without connections to sewer, electrical, or water systems. Sixteen of those prototypes will be on display in India.

The WASHCost Calculator takes into account everything from construction, finance, and installation, to maintenance, repairs and eventual replacement. It raises issues such as who owns the infrastructure or who is responsible for replacement. It helps you to think about how you are going to maintain the service before you’re trying to build it. The online tool is designed to compare data across organisations and is dynamically updated, growing smarter with each additional project. And the tool is now online at:  http://washcost.ircwash.org

IRC has created a poster, which gives an example of how the WASHCost Calculator can be used for rural sanitation in India.


  • IRC selected as an exhibitor for the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India, IRC, 20 Mar 2014
  • Girindre Beeharry and K. VijayRaghavan, Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India – Solutions for India and the World, Impatient Optimists, 10 Mar 2014