Thursday, August 4

Create a better toilet and is the world...

NAIROBI, Kenya - in the crack of dawn every Sunday, Joseph Irungu leads an army of 50 men T-shirt hand carts with old 42-gallon oil drums through the narrow streets of one of the most densely populated slums of Kenya's equipped.

With their bare hands, they use buckets to the feces of pit latrines in Korogocho, draw, fill the oil drums and push them to a river, to deposit the waste. The men with patches of waste water leaves every trip on her face and hands.

Irungu has these hygiene Brigade leader since 1998 as the City Council of Nairobi his request to the pit latrine on his property rental houses rejected drain.

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"It was too much," he said. "I had to do something, so I picked up a bucket and it drains me." "I know that many other landlords with similar problems faced and a business opportunity presented itself."

Irungu was the entrepreneurial spirit across the continent, Tuesday, when the world's largest charitable foundation announced the latest venture: try the toilet to safe, clean reinventing hygiene to millions of poor people in developing countries.

At the AfricaSan Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced$ 42 million in grants for the promotion of innovation in the collection, storage and re-use of waste as an energy resource.

More than 2.6 billion people around the world don't have access to safe sanitation. Associated with sewer lines instead of toilets, most are their waste on the ground or in a ditch or pit. The result is unsightly, unhygienic and contributes to the disease.

Approximately 1.5 million children die each year from diarrhoea-related diseases. As the foundation of gates, that most of these deaths could be avoided with proper sanitation, clean drinking water and improved hygiene believes, are to start Foundation officials in Africa this week, this new initiative.

Sets the Foundation to toilets and sanitation, in extracts, Frank Rijsberman, Director of the foundation of water, sanitation and hygiene initiative said, because it is the least attractive part of the development of the world.

Almost taboo
"It is almost taboo." Who wants to talk to shit? It isn't an issue in polite conversation ", he said."

The Foundation wants to have before the end of the year 50 to 60 groups working on ideas for the next generation of toilets, which should run without water and electricity and are connected to a sewer. Rijsberman said that it targets, who turned in more than a way that is useful, the waste into something that can be used for a toilet for energy.

If all goes as planned, said it will serve in three to five years a handful of solutions, which will lead to millions of people, products or innovations.

Irungu, 47, says the main problem in communities such as the Korogocho slum, the lack of sewage facilities and access to water is. He has seen are positive the cholera outbreak already of its efforts, including a drop in.

"This place to smell, because people would go to the toilet in (plastic) bags and throw them in the streets, because she could not go to the toilets which were crowded with waste," he said.

To use pay, clean toilets and water is extra effort which can't afford many of slum-dwellers, so that they end up with dirty facilities that they can be exposed to diseases. The use of a toilet costs about two cents or two Kenyan shilling.

If better toilets introduces Irungu loses his business, but he says he feels guilty disposing waste in a river. He says he has no alternative. The slum built on rocky land, so many landlords digging shallow pit latrines, which fill quickly, because they are sometimes used by more than 30 people.

Drains for every latrine Irungu takes home over $2, a solid returns in an area, where many residents of less, that earn $1 per day. Through this work he said able to educate his five children, he.

Korogocho resident Veronica Wanjiru, 29, has two children at the age of 7 and 11, says that cleanliness is a problem.

"Select most of the tenants to use, that you a donor-funded toilet facility 2 shillings figures", she said. "Many of us this fee does not provide, so that our children use potty training until they still 14 years are or for those who cannot afford, they use paper bags, which are then thrown into a ditch."

WANJIRU said that if her family twice a day used the public toilet, it would you 12 shillings (13 cents), costs that they cannot afford. Instead, let their children their waste in a portable, self-contained toilet Chair. It gives the content into a ditch.

"I know that the disposal of feces in the ditch is bad, but I have no other choice." I have no toilet. I have a steady job, "WANJIRU said, washes clothes for a living." "Disposing is bad, the feces in the ditch because that's where my kids play."

The Gates Foundation was founded in 2000 by Microsoft Corp. Chairman and his wife. ( is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

Copyright 2011 associated press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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