WASH United at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation´s toilet fair in Seattle
About 2.6 billion people, or 40 percent of the world's population lack access to safe sanitation and are forced to defecate in the open. Since western-style toilets and their high need for complex infrastructure cannot answer this demand, the foundation has challenged the world to re-invent the toilet. First examples of how these "next-generation" toilets might look and operate are currently presented at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation´s "Reinvent the Toilet Fair", taking place from August 14 to August 15 2012 in Seattle.
However, next-generation toilets can only save the lives of millions when people use them and when they use them right. WASH United has been invited to the fair to present our sports-based campaigns - providing the "software" to the toilet hardware: the behavioral change that is needed for a sustainable adoption of toilets.
Background of the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: Western-style toilets are not the answer for 2.6 billion people worldwide who don’t have access to safe and affordable sanitation as they demand a complex sewer infrastructure and use too much water. Therefore the foundation has challenged the world to re-invent the toilet. In June 2011, the foundation awarded eight universities grants of approximately $400,000 to leverage, in one year, advances in science and technology to create a waterless, hygienic toilet that is safe and affordable for people in the developing world. From August 14- August 15 2012, the Gates Foundation is hosting the Reinvent the Toilet Fair to showcase the work of these teams, and to announce the winners of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. More info under www.gatesfoundation.org