Bill Gates has unveiled a waterless toilet

Bill Gates points at a jar containing human feces as he makes a point about the dangers of primitive sanitation

"This small amount of faeces could contain as many as 200 trillion rotavirus cells, 20 billion Shigella bacteria, and 100,000 parasitic worm eggs".

USA billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates unveiled on Tuesday in Beijing a futuristic toilet that doesn't need water or sewers and uses chemicals to turn human waste into fertiliser.

On stage at the Expoo, Gates quipped that "a decade ago I never imagined that I'd know so much about poop".

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has unveiled a futuristic toilet that doesn't need water and uses chemicals to turn human waste into fertiliser.

As one of the world's richest men and most active philanthropists, Bill Gates usually has his hands full. The event, according to the New York Times, was aimed at allowing brands to "showcase their takes on the simple bathroom fixture". "And I definitely never thought that Melinda would have to tell me to stop talking about toilets and faecal sludge at the dinner table".

"Durban is a good place to run these tests because the city is growing fast and many people there don't have a modern sanitation, which means that, even if they have access to a toilet, the waste can get into the environment and make people sick", he said.

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The ideas are being hailed by Gates as the "most significant advances in sanitation in almost 200 years", the news site reports.

The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the African Development Bank also announced at the expo commitments with the potential to unlock 2.5 billion US dollars in financing for sanitation projects that provide people in all parts of a city, including the poorest neighborhoods, with safely managed sanitation services. "We can help jump-start a new era of safe sanitation for the 21st century by developing solutions that can leapfrog today's existing infrastructure, functioning anywhere and everywhere".

"In rich countries we have sewers that take clean water in, flush some of the dirty water out, in nearly all cases there's a treatment plant", he said.

That 500,000 figure is the number of children who die annually because of water contaminated with human waste that hasn't been processed properly. As adoption of these multi-unit toilets increases, and costs decline, a new category of reinvented household toilets will become available, the Gates Foundation said.

On his trip, Mr Gates also appeared at the First China International Import Expo in Shanghai, at a time of tension between the U.S. and China.

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