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.
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
A 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.
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’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
The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) needs the services of a training service provider to carry out a sanitation and hygiene policy training. Focal persons in Burundi, Chad, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe need to be brought up to speed on drawing up plans and strategies .
The aim of this small (20 days) but interesting assignment is to:
train the focal countries on the process of developing a policy document and costed implementation plans and strategies for ending open defecation in those countries, and how to operationalise them.
The assignment supports a US$ 2 million Gates Foundation funded policy and advocacy project being implemented by AMCOW .
Closing date for receipt of applications is March 7, 2014.
Read the full Terms of Reference.
Please do not submit applications or requests for information to Sanitation Updates.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – RTI International has been awarded a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a toilet for use in developing nations that converts human waste into burnable fuel, stored energy and disinfected, non-potable water.
RTI is partnered with Duke University, Colorado State University, NASA’s Ames Research Center and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory to develop a prototype of this safe, sanitary and affordable waste treatment system. Our team includes experts in engineering, water and sanitation, energy, and economics.
- RTI International is developing a toilet that converts human waste into burnable fuel, stored energy and disinfected, non-potable water
- Novel waste treatment system could help improve public health and quality of life among people in developing nations
- The system will not require piped-in water, a sewer connection or outside electricity
Infographic: ADB and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have set up a joint trust fund to expand non-sewered sanitation and septage management solutions across Asia.
The Gates Foundation will invest US$ 15 million into the new Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund, which will leverage more than US$ 28 million in investments from ADB by 2017.
The Trust Fund will pilot innovations in sanitation and septage management, provide grant funds for innovations in ADB’s sanitation projects, and support polices on septage management and sludge treatment for low-income urban communities who lack access to piped networks or safe wastewater disposal systems.
The Trust Fund will be part of ADB’s Water Financing Partnership Facility (WFPF), which has invested US$ 2.5 billion (out of a total of US$ 8.8 billion) in water supply, sanitation, and wastewater management projects since 2006.
So far the Gates Foundation has funded 85 sanitation research & development projects as part of their grant schemes such as the “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge” and “Grand Challenges Exploration“. An overview of these projects and background information is available on the SuSanA website.
The BRAC WASH II programme in Bangladesh, which is co-funded by the Gates Foundation, includes a component for innovative action research on sanitation and water supply.
Source: ADB, 02 Sep 2013
Posted in East Asia & Pacific, Funding, Research, Sanitary Facilities, South Asia, Wastewater Management
Tagged Asian Development Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, faecal sludge management, finance, Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund, urban sanitation