In a small, cream-colored building on the site of a cotton mill in Coimbatore, India, sits a toilet with a lot riding on it. No ordinary commode, its life-changing mission is to stop the spread of deadly diseases, conserve dwindling fresh water, and even keep girls in school. Can a toilet change the world? Brian Stoner, who leads the Duke team behind the unit in Coimbatore, thinks this one could. “I certainly believe it has that potential,” says Stoner, a professor of electrical and computer engineering who is also part of the Duke Global Health Institute. But is the world ready to change its toilets?
Changing the World, One Flush at a Time