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Bill Gates, American business magnate, philanthropist, investor, computer programmer, and inventor, is committed to raising awareness around the issue of sanitation in developing countries. Gates funded Janicki Bioenergy, a small engineering firm based outside of Seattle, which makes water from human waste. And in a video released recently he drinks the water that the company has made from waste and announces that “It is water”.
In a blog post, Gates writes that he, “watched the piles of feces go up the conveyor belt and drop into a large bin. They made their way through the machine, getting boiled and treated. A few minutes later I took a long taste of the end result: a glass of delicious drinking water”.
Though people might wonder why Gates is doing this, it appears a no-brainer for him. He states in the blog that hundreds of thousands of children each year and prevents them from developing both mentally and physically. And this is why he is doing this.
“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,” Gates writes.
Doulaye Kone, senior program officer at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation adds that “The sanitation system as we know it in the developed world cannot work in developing countries. So what we need in developing country is very simple systems.”
The end of the laborious process involves purifying human waste by heating into a vapour, then condensing it and creating water. The remaining sludge is then heated in a steam engine and produces electricity and ash.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is backing a pilot project for Janicki’s project in Senegal later this year.