Remember earlier this year Bill Gates drank what was essentially recycled poop that through the technological marvel of the Janicki Omni Processor, was transformed into drinkable water? It looks like whatever tests and trials they were previously conducting was a success because it seems that the system is now live and has begun rolling out to parts of Africa as part of a larger test.
For those who are unfamiliar with the machine, basically it can take human waste and recycle it into clean drinking water. The goal is to help get clean and drinkable water into places where such basic amenities are hard to access. As it stands, the first roll out has begun in Dakar, Senegal where about 1.2 million residents do not have access to a sewer line.
This means that human waste is disposed by digging a hole in the ground and burying it, making it ripe for all kinds of diseases. Now that the Omni Processor is here, the people will finally have a way to dispose of human waste, while at the same time getting a resource out of it as well.
So far everything is going well save for a few kinks, but as Gates notes on his blog, “The machine has to be tested — and unlike a computer program, sanitation machines can’t be tested from a desk in Seattle. The real world introduces lots of variables. For example, you have to find the right personnel to run the machine. You have to work with local and national governments and gauge the public’s reaction.”