Last year, women visiting a neonatal clinic at a hospital in Kiboga, Uganda, began using two waterless, standalone bathrooms that offered a cleaner and more private alternative to the pit latrines that are standard in the region.
The deployment was the culmination of years of work by the startup change:WATER Labs, co-founded by two MIT research scientists — and its success showed the company’s potential to improve lives far beyond Uganda.
Half of the world’s population lacks access to toilets that safely manage human waste, with women and children bearing the brunt of the consequences. A child dies every 15 seconds from water-related diseases like diarrhea and cholera. Women and girls without private bathrooms close to their homes are susceptible to high rates of sexual violence. Globally, 45 percent of schools lack proper bathroom facilities, one reason 20 percent of girls drop out of school by the time they start menstruating.
The small but…
— to news.mit.edu