Flush

From The Economist: “If Thomas Crapper were around today, he would find our toilets quite familiar,” says Bill Gates, referring to the Victorian manufacturer of sanitary ware whose name has become attached to one of the body’s most fundamental functions. “They haven’t seen many advances apart from handles and paper toilet rolls.” Mr Gates considers it time for a change. On August 14th his charitable institution, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, announced the gold-, silver- and bronze-medal winners in its Reinvent The Toilet Challenge, which aims to bring safe, affordable and “sustainable” loos to the 40% of the world’s population who lack access to basic sanitation, thus preventing many of the 1.5 million childhood deaths from diarrhea that now occur each year.

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