Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Topics / Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene

About 2.6 billion people use unsafe toilets or defecate in the open.  Poor sanitation causes severe diarrhea, which kills 1.5 million children each year.  Smart investments in sanitation can reduce disease, increase family incomes, keep girls in school, help preserve the environment, and enhance human dignity.

Learn more below and visit the program page for more details about our work in this area.

What Happened at the “Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India” and What’s Next?

We saw a tremendous amount of progress at the 2014 “Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India” we held in New Delhi last month. Just 18 months after the first fair, our partners came to New Delhi with early versions of toilets that look like real commercial products. It was amazing to see so many ideas and technologies integrated into devices that can safely collect and processes human waste.

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Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India - Progress, Innovation, Excitement

Researchers from India and around the world were among the more than 700 participants who gathered to discuss how to bring safe sanitation to the 2.5 billion people who lack access. This was the second “toilet fair” hosted by the foundation; the first was in Seattle in 2012. This year’s event was co-hosted by the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology, with the support of the Ministry of Urban Development.

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Harnessing the Power of Cricket to Bowl Out Diarrhea in South Asia

While South Asia may place high in cricket rankings, it lags in sanitation and hygiene. More than 40% of people in the region do not have access to a toilet.

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Meet Raya, the Newest Member of the Sesame Family

2.5 Billion people currently do not have access to safe toilets. Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, has been selected to join the 2014 “Reinvent The Toilet Fair: India” to showcase critical health messages as part of its Cleaner, Healthier, Happier campaign designed to reach children and families across Bangladesh, India and Nigeria.

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Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India - Solutions for India and the World

As we enter 2014, momentum is building to ensure that all people have access to safe, affordable sanitation. Now is the time to harness- and hasten-this momentum. That’s why we’re holding the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India later this month.

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