How much money would you consider enough to convince you to drink a glass of water made from human faeces? 1000 euros? 10, 000 euros? Would you do it for free? Would you drink water that came from or near a sewer or any place laden with human waste? Would you do it if it was either that or dying from dehydration? Survivors of expeditions gone wrong have always told stories of how they survived until they could be rescued by drinking their own urine. You probably answered no, or rather no way to the first set of questions and yes or maybe to whether you would do it for survival purposes.
Unfortunately for many people in third world countries, it is not an option. According to a report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF in 2013, data collected two years earlier showed that 2.5 billion people worldwide lacked improved sanitation facilities. It appears that there might be a positive development in the fight against poor sanitation.
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Bill Gates has drunk a glass of water made from human faeces, to showcase technology he said could provide clean water in the developing world. In a video posted on his blog here http://www.gatesnotes.com/Development/Omniprocessor-From-Poop-to-Potable Mr. Gates watched as the human waste was fed into the processor before drinking the end product from a glass. “The water tasted as good as any I’ve had out of a bottle. And having studied the engineering behind it, I would happily drink it every day. It’s that safe.” Bill Gates.
Gates said he wanted to begin sending processing plants around the world after tests later this year. The project was welcomed by WaterAid, which said that it could particularly help in urban areas. According to WaterAid, some 748 million people worldwide lack clean drinking water. Gates went on to say that turning waste into drinking water and electricity was important because diseases caused by poor sanitation kill some 700, 000 children every year and they prevent many more from fully developing mentally and physically. If we can develop safe, affordable ways to get rid of human waste, we can prevent many of those deaths and help more children grow up healthy, said Gates.
“If we get it right, it will be a good example of how philanthropy can provide seed money that draws bright people to work on big problems, eventually creating a self-supporting industry. Our foundation is funding Janicki to do the development. It’s really amazing to see how they’ve embraced the work; founder Peter Janicki and his family have traveled to Africa and India multiple times so they can see the scope of the problem. Our goal is to make the processors cheap enough that entrepreneurs in low- and middle-income countries will want to invest in them and then start profitable waste-treatment businesses.” Bill Gates
“If the technology can be rolled out at a scale that makes it viable for small investors or entrepreneurs, then this could be a catalyst for changing the sanitation landscape,” said its sanitation technical support manager. – BBC