Can Bill Gates Toilets solve India’s Sanitation crisis
Bill Gates stood at Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing with a beaker of poop next to him. Though it created some silly laugh, it brought everybody’s attention to a serious issue called poor sanitation, that kills more than 500,000 people every year. With population growth, urbanization, and water scarcity, it will make it even more difficult for cities in India that are already struggling with inadequate sanitation systems.
So how is this Toilet like
The Toilets of the future won’t have the need to get connected to septic tank or sewer lines. Another proposed model demonstrated does not even need flush water. Once the toilet lid is put down, feces and urine get dropped into a pan, where they get separated and combusted into ash that can be thrown away or filtered into clean water which could be used for cleaning or for watering plants. Some models can even turn human waste, or fecal sludge into electricity and clean water. Bill Gates himself took a sip of water that had originated from excrement and said that it tasted same like normal drinking water !
So will we soon see them in Market for sale
The toilets are still getting tested and it will take long time before it goes into mass production. Also some difficulties still remain with respect to filtering processes and product design. It is expected that these toilets will undergo field test by next year in China, India, South Africa and other countries where toilets are a big sanitation problem. Critics though have their own doubts over this model especially with respect to its affordability. Gates himself says that early adopters of this model of toilets will be early from middle- or upper-income areas. With design optimization and steady increase in firms producing this model of toilets they will become more and more affordable. Mr. Gates estimates, these household toilets could become a $6 billion market by 2030.
I am hopeful to see this future toilet soon in action, as it comes from the same man who designed for all of us Personal computer software. I am hopeful it can transform the current sanitation problem faced by India.