NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Can Africa build a better toilet?
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced in Rwanda on Tuesday that it is giving $42 million in grants to encourage innovation in the capture, storage and repurposing of waste as an energy resource.
More than 2.6 billion people around the world don't have access to safe sanitation. Instead of using toilets connected to sewer lines, many of the world's poor leave their waste on the ground or in a ditch or pit.
Gates Foundation official Frank Rijsberman said that before the end of 2011 the foundation hopes to have 50 to 60 groups working on ideas for the next generation of toilets, which should run without water or electricity and not be attached to a sewer system.