President Obama is in the United Kingdom this week as part of the G20 Summit. As Nicholas Kristof wrote an op-ed, more is at stake than banks. According to World Bank estimates, the global economic crisis will cause an additional 22 children to die per hour, throughout all of 2009. Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank, stated, “In London, Washington and Paris, people talk of bonuses or no bonuses...In parts of Africa, South Asia and Latin America, the struggle is for food or no food.”
On the outskirts of Les Cayes several years ago, I came across a school with a bio-latrine that used airless digestion to transform human waste into gas suitable for cooking, heating and lighting. After one month, there was enough gas being produced to cook a meal for all of the students in this fairly large school, without using environmentally destructive wood charcoal. The gas is without odor and, beyond the initial investment, without cost. The experiences of other low resource countries might hold lessons for the potential scale up of this innovation in Haiti.