PRG's Travels

PRG selected as an exhibitor for the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India

by Dr Sally Frost | Mar 16, 2014
The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Pollution Research Group (PRG) announced today that they will be an exhibitor at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India event which will be co-hosted by the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in March 2014. 

Professor Chris Buckley will showcase the facilities and data available to other grantees that aims to help bring sanitation to those who need it most, entitled “Data Acquisition and Field Support for Sanitation Projects”. The fair is also supported by the Ministry of Urban Development.

The Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India aims to stimulate discussion and spur partnerships to improve global sanitation and bring affordable sanitation solutions to people who need it most. The fair is also an opportunity to recognize India’s leadership and commitment to improving child health and fostering innovative solutions to persistent development challenges. 

Professor Buckley’s project is one of approximately 50 exhibits that will be on display during the two-day fair. 

This project is based on the realization that other grantees, in order to design and build their prototypes, required data on various excreta streams, access to different sanitation systems and field testing of their prototype
The aim of this project is to characterize mechanical, chemical and biological properties of excreta streams from dry on‐site sanitation systems or from decentralized low‐water consuming sanitation systems, and to distribute this data to other grantees to support their research. Additional support will be provided through hosting of visitors to Durban, providing access to laboratory equipment and analyses, and facilitating field testing of prototypes.

“Of the 1.1 billion people who defecate in the open, almost 60 percent are Indian,” said Professor K. VijayRaghavan, secretary of the Indian Department of Biotechnology. “Sanitation solutions using the latest technology need not be complex or driven by expensive gadgetry, but they need to be innovative and address the many aspects of this multifaceted problem.” 

“Today, because of a lack of toilets and poorly functioning infrastructure, massive amounts of untreated waste winds up in the environment, spreading disease,” said Brian Arbogast, director of the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We are privileged to host the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India with our partners to advance conversations about sanitation – it is a testament to the Indian government’s commitment to improving how we deal with this pressing problem.”

>> Read more on this PRG project

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) was formed out of a merger between the Universities of Durban-Westville and Natal on 1 January 2004. UKZN is one of the largest universities in sub-Saharan Africa and is located in two cities (Durban and Pietermaritzburg) on five founding campuses: Edgewood, Howard College, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, Pietermaritzburg and Westville.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is rated amongst the top 500 universities of the world and is the third most productive university in South Africa in terms of research output. The University has international partnerships with institutions in 46 countries. It is structured into four Colleges: The College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science; the College of Health Sciences; the College of Humanities; and the College of Law and Management Studies. Each College consists of a number of Schools with cognate disciplines. The Schools offer approximately 2 000 academic programmes across the University’s five campuses.

UKZN is a truly South African university that is academically excellent, innovative in research, critically engaged with society and demographically representative.