Coghlin Companies announced today that DCI Engineering, a wholly owned subsidiary, 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. DCI will showcase their Fecal Sludge Omni Ingestor (FSOI) that aims to help bring sanitation to those who need it most. 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.
DCI’s project is one of approximately 50 exhibits that will be on display during the two-day fair. DCI will be presenting information on their FSOI System which is conceived as a solution for a business owner to use to extract contents of latrines while helping to reduce sanitary risks. The OI is designed to fit on the back of a motor vehicle with an open-top, rear cargo area (a pickup truck or lorry) with a pumping mechanism that can reach distances of 50 meters. DCI is currently in Phase III of the project, developing working prototypes in preparation for field trials.
Since 2000, reports from the Joint Monitoring Program (WHO/UNICEF) of the Millennium Development Goal targets for sanitation have consistently shown that the share of the population in developing countries that use pit latrines, septic tanks, and systems qualified as “unimproved” sanitation facilities is growing. Today, it is estimated that between 2.1 – 2.6 billion people in developing countries use pit latrines or septic tanks that produce tons of untreated fecal sludge every day. When these tanks and pits are full, the sludge collected is largely discharged untreated into open drains, irrigation fields, open lands, or surface waters. The amount of untreated fecal sludge discharged into the open environment poses a serious public health risk.
“Of the 1.1 billion people who defecate in the open, almost 60 percent are Indian,” said Professor K. Vijay Raghavan, 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.”
The World Bank estimates that poor sanitation costs the world $260 billion annually. Poor sanitation contributes to 1.5 million child deaths from diarrhea each year. Chronic diarrhea can also hinder child development by impeding the absorption of essential nutrients that are critical to the development of the mind, body, and immune system. It can also impede the absorption of life-saving vaccines.
“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.”
Note: attendance at the fair is by invitation only. No further invitations will be extended.