Aside from Japanese manufacturer Toto, toilet design is an area that gets little attention. To us in developed nations, toilets are something we take for granted, and a subset of us that are wealthy can buy fancy ones with heated seats and guided spray nozzles for arse cleaning.
For people in developing nations, toilets could mean the difference between life and death. When people have no alternative but to crap into the waterways that they drink from, disease and sickness follow. What’s needed is a toilet designed to work without a sewage system, and that’s precisely what the Gates Foundation’s Reinventing the Toilet Challenge was meant to do.
We last reported on their progress here, and sadly the response was muted. We get it. No one wants to talk about shit. So maybe what’s needed to build awareness is to send the Daily Show’s perennially cranky correspondent, Ronny Chieng, to interview Bill Gates by opening with “What the fuck is wrong with you?”