Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

You Don't Know $h!t About $h!t

August 16, 2012

Despite the fact that people in the world do it every day, most of us probably don't know $h!t when it comes to the real facts about going. Likely, you walk into your bathroom in the morning sit down on a pristine porcelain bowl, do your business, and then flush away all the icky evidence with the easy push of a button or press of a lever. You, however, are the lucky ones.

For many in the world, flush toilets aren't an option and the implications of the lack of sanitation extend to a lot more than a bit of icky poo. They impact the health and well-being of millions of children each year. This, combined with the large amount of water required by flush toilets, and possibilities to increase the usefulness of humanity's waste by turning it into fuel and fertilizer, has prompted a need to reinvent the toilet.

In honor of the efforts of innovators around the world that are busily working to realize the vision of a future toilet, and those that lack the pristine porcelain throne that some of us so enjoy, we've put together a series of quiz questions so you can find out just how much you do or don't know about poo. We'll put out a new question every few days along with the correct answer to the previous question. Check in regularly to find out just how much you know about $h!t.

Here's our newest question! Want to know how you did on the last question? Scroll to the bottom of the page and see how you stacked up.

Last Question:

Answer: Every year, human-waste contaminated food and water result in 1.5 million deaths for children under 5. 

Toilet reinvention is just one example of innovations that we are investing in. See how these other innovations in food, agriculture, and disease fighting are helping improve lives around the world.

Innovation to Grow Better Rice for a Hungry World

Innovations to Help African Farmers Thrive

Innovation to fight polio

Read more about our work in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene.

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