• Technological changes in toilets are saving human lives.
  • Bill Gates and other have launched new initiatives to combat sanitation-related diseases.
  • New toilets don't use water - or they turn your urine into high-quality fertiliser.

Billions of people around the world don't have the luxury of a functional toilet.

Today, 4.5 billion live without a safe toilet and 892 million people still practice open defecation.

Some 80% of wastewater from human activities is discharged into rivers or sea without any pollution removal. Each day, nearly 1,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related diseases.

But engineers are coming up with innovative ways of solving this waste problem, with electric and water-free units, while new urinals can also turn your urine into high-quality fertiliser, 

Read more: Women may get standing-style urinals in SA malls following a successful trial

Bill Gate's philanthropic ventures have led him to distribute thousands of toilets in China that turn waste to fertiliser.

Gates said the problem with current toilets is that they simply send the waste away in water.

South Africans are also coming up with their own innovations. In a bid to save water Bernelle Verster skipped the toilet when building her house. 

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