A Challenge Paper on Water and Sanitation – 2012
by Frank Rijsberman and Alix Zwane and released by the Copenhagen Consensus Center.
The world has met the Millennium Development Goal on the provision of clean drinking water five years early, but is set to miss its goal on basic sanitation by almost 1 billion people. An astonishing one-third of the world population, 2.5 billion people, lack access to basic sanitation and over one billion people defecate out in the open.
Inadequate sanitation caused a cholera outbreak in Haiti in late 2010 that has now made half a million people sick and cost some 7000 lives; smaller cholera outbreaks are still commonplace during the rainy season in Bangladesh or the low-lying parts of many Africa cities. Diarrheal diseases are still a leading cause of death for children under five, second only to respiratory infections. The World Bank concludes that the economic impact of poor sanitation can be as high as 7% of GDP for some Asian countries and on the order of 1-2% of GDP for African countries.
Copenhagen Consensus 2012 asked Frank Rijsberman and Alix Peterson Zwane from the Gates Foundation to establish the best ways to reduce the size of this challenge.
Less than two years after joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “Toilet Team” director Frank Rijsberman is taking on a new position as CEO of the CGIAR Consortium. The Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR) coordinates the work of 15 international centres, including the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), where Dr. Rijsberman served as Director General from 2000 to 2007.
Frank Rijsberman joined the Gates Foundation as director of its Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene initiative on 11 October 2010. In July 2011, the Foundation launched its “Reinvent the Toilet” strategy, which turned the usual distribution of funding and advocacy for WASH programmes on its head by committing 90% of its WASH funding to sanitation.
Dr Rijsberman will start his new assignment at the CGIAR Consortium Office in Montpellier, France, on 28 May 2012.
Source: CGIAR, 19 March 2012
An article in Time Magazine highlights the collaboration between the Gates Foundation and Germany in finding innovative solutions for sanitation in developing countries.
The Head of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene department at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Frank Rijsberman, talls about new ideas for using human excrement. “Human waste could be a real gold mine”, he jokes.
In a press conference he told journalists that they didn’t talk politics, but discussed the idea of the “ultimate toilet.”