September 7, 2012

E4C visualized: Poop and the $42 million challenge to reinvent the toilet

Poor sanitation is one of the biggest killers and causes of sickness in developing countries. Overflowing pit latrines, a complete lack of latrines, and dumping waste into water supplies are some of the key causes of infection.

The problem has some simple solutions, such as better latrine maintenance. This bicycle modified to pump pit latrines is a good example. Another simple fix is the ecological pit latrine that converts waste into fertilizer.

Better latrines from E4C’s Solutions Library

Ventilated improve pit latrine
Biogas pit latrine
Compost toilets in waterlogged areas
Closed, waterless toilet systems

But maybe the toilet itself is part of the problem. Giving everyone a Western style flushing toilet would make the world’s streets run with raw sewage. Fortunately, some of the world’s best device makers are working to reinvent the toilet, and they’re motivated by millions of dollars in grant money from the Gates Foundation. This infographic explains.

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