On November 19, World Toilet Day, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates took a trip down the sewers of Brussels to explore the hidden history of its water waste system. The visit was part of his ongoing efforts to raise awareness about sanitation issues and promote global health.
In a video shared on Instagram, Gates is shown descending into the sewers and meeting with scientists to learn more about the intricate workings of Brussels’ sewage system. The caption for the video read, “I explored the hidden history of Brussels’ sewage system—and the role of wastewater in global health—for this year’s #WorldToiletDay.”
Gates has been committed to solving global issues through his philanthropy, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which he runs with his ex-wife. In addition to visiting Brussels, he has participated in various public stunts aimed at raising awareness about sanitation problems, such as drinking water from “fecal sludge” and taking a whiff of pit latrine odour.
World Toilet Day, celebrated annually since 2013, aims to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. With a theme of ‘Accelerating Change’, the day highlights the importance of sanitation and hygiene, as well as the repercussions of inadequate access to water in low- and middle-income countries. The day was first celebrated in 2001 by the World Toilet Organization.