Too many people in impoverished nations are going daily without potable drinking water. With the help of Bill and Melinda Gates, a Seattle-based company is taking strides to solve this issue not simply with charitable intentions, but with the goal of stimulating self-sustaining entrepreneurial attitude in members of the developing nations.

READ MORE //  A Redesigned Fire Hydrant for the Future

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has financed Janicki Bioenergy in its development of the Omniprocessor. This device can process human waste into clean, drinkable water in a matter of minutes, while producing energy to incinerate the remaining solid waste, and leaving 250 watts to spare.

Some number crunching perhaps;

it is believed that the waste of some 100,000 people, can be converted into 86,000 litres of water per day, enough for 43,000 people.

How the Omniprocessor works

Gates, on his blog, Gatesnotes , states that “ If we get it right, it will be a good example of how philanthropy can provide seed money that draws bright people to work on big problems, eventually creating a self –supporting industry.”

His goal is to make the Omniprocessors cheap enough that small business in the area will want to invest in them and then start a profitable waste treatment business.

Many charitable efforts, despite good intentions have been criticized for trying to address an issue by entering a developing nation and solve the problem without leaving the local communities in any better state to address any future concerns. This ‘I’ll take care of it’ mentality has resulted in a dependent relationship. By making the Omniprocessor affordable to the local population in need of its services it provides developing nation with the ability to address its own concerns.  Surely we can all drink to that.

[GatesNotes via IFLS]

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