ISO standards help develop new toilet technology that will save millions of lives

New ISO International Standard for revolutionary sanitation systems launched at the Reinvented Toilet Expo, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, held in Beijing today.

“International Standards are key to the progression of new sanitation technology and developing an industry that saves lives,” said ISO Secretary-General Sergio Mujica at the Reinvented Toilet Expo held today in Beijing, China. Mujica was speaking on a high-level panel as part of the opening plenary that featured Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Dr Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, as well as other leading representatives from industry and government.

The panel, which is part of the three-day Reinvented Toilet Expo summit, discussed commitments to non-sewered sanitation and actions required to develop the industry, including standardization. Reinvented toilet technology is all about stand-alone sanitation systems that safely treat waste without the need to be connected to a traditional sewerage system. It is designed to revolutionize the lives of billions of people around the world who lack sufficient clean sanitation systems, saving lives and improving well-being.

Keynote speaker Bill Gates said: “This expo showcases, for the first time, radically new and pilot-tested approaches to sanitation that will provide effective alternatives for collecting, managing and treating human waste. The technologies you’ll see here are the most significant advances in sanitation in nearly two hundred years.”

This technology can be supported and further developed with the launch of the world’s first dedicated International Standard. ISO 30500Non-sewered sanitation systems – Prefabricated integrated treatment units – General safety and performance requirements for design and testing, provides safety and performance requirements that will not only enable their effective manufacture, but the development of the sector as a whole.

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By Clare Naden

 

 

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Jamaica Library Service gets grant to boost ICT resources

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica Library Service (JLS) received a grant of US$2 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation based in Seattle, United States of America, which will, along with co-funding of US$1.1 million from the Jamaican Government, help the JLS to boost Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resources in public libraries.

The funds will also enable JLS to provide additional training for staff and users, enhance programmes and services and support a comprehensive advocacy and marketing campaign.

In July the foundation advised the JLS of the granting of the award for the charitable purpose to enrich lives and ultimately contribute to the achievement of the country’s Vision 2030, Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.

The ICT project will boost access with the installation of hardware and software, including the addition of approximately 843 state-of-the-art computer systems, as well as provide library staff and users with training. One hundred and twenty seven public libraries and six mobile libraries will benefit from the project.

Education Minister Ronald Thwaites welcomed the award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation noting that in a new release from the ministry that “the project will facilitate the use of technology to support major social change on the Jamaican landscape through public libraries to impact the areas of education and digital inclusion”.

In his comments, Paul Lalor, Chairman of the Board of the JLS, said that “as the largest single provider of free access to computers and the Internet to Jamaicans, JLS anticipates an exciting three-year implementation period which will not only change the face of public libraries in Jamaica, but also ultimately positively impact the lives of individuals and the development of communities and the country on a whole”.

The announcement of the award by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries initiative completes the selection process that began in March 2012 following a letter of interest for Grant Funding sent by the foundation to the JLS.

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