The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is throwing $42 million into the toilet -- not literally speaking, of course. The philanthropic organization is investing money into a new initiative that hopes to provide bathroom facilities to impoverished communities, as well as research new bathroom technologies.
Although it may not carry the same social currency as water scarcity or homelessness, the need for a clean, reliable toilet is universal and very serious. More than a billion people are entirely without bathroom facilities, and billions more lack latrines that meet any standard. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hopes to alleviate those numbers and reinvent the toilet while doing so.
Considering that few things have preserved as much life and health as the toilet, it makes sense that the Foundation is handing out $3 million in research grants to in order to produce more effective, efficient toilet solutions.