SOIL Launches the Household Toilet Project in Shada, Cap-Haitien Haiti

SOIL Launches the Household Toilet Project in Shada, Cap-Haitien Haiti

For those familiar with SOIL, the Household Toilet Project probably doesn’t sound all that new. For years we’ve dreamed about a social business model for providing household sanitation in Haiti, and today we are happy to report that our dream has started to become a reality! On October 30, 2012, SOIL and our partners at Re.Source installed the first 25 private household toilets in the Shada neighborhood of Cap-Haitien. The SOIL inauguration hosted yesterday was a combination of celebration and logistics: families signed a contract with SOIL, picked up their toilets, and participated in a SOIL training, but they also sang, danced, and rejoiced with Regional Director Theo Huitema.

A Social Business Model for Ecological Sanitation

SOIL believes that compost sales and user fees collected from households wanting an ecological sanitation (EcoSan) toilet can cover the ongoing maintenance, collection and treatment costs of providing household sanitation services. To test this hypothesis, SOIL and our partners plan to build household toilets in the Cap-Haitien neighborhood of Shada. We have established a biweekly collection system and the wastes collected will be treated at SOIL’s composting waste treatment site in Limonade. The compost generated will be sold to help subsidize the household toilet project and cover the ongoing costs of waste treatment. Small monthly user fees will be collected from participating households to ensure buy‐in among participants, and to demonstrate a healthy revenue stream that can inspire and attract small businesses in Haiti. We hope this project will provide a point of entry for small Haitian businesses to begin participating in the service delivery system and/or implementing similar projects of their own – thereby helping to increase sanitation access across Haiti, contributing to long-term job creation and building up a system that can continue long after international aid for Haiti has dried up.

How It Works

Community Collaborations and Next Steps

Yesterday’s training and installation was done in partnership with KOSS, a collective of the nine community-based organizations in Shada. KOSS will continue to be involved throughout the project by helping to promote hygiene education programs and activities and by monitoring that the toilets are properly functioning and well-received. In the coming months, SOIL and our partners will continue to install more toilets in the Shada neighborhood so stay posted for updates on early results and successes!

Installing the First Toilets

SOIL’s Regional Director, Theo Huitema, follows SOIL staff (watch out for appearances of Madame Bwa, Erinold and Josapha!) and Re.Source researchers (special appearance of Sebastien Tilmas) through Shada as the first household EcoSan toilets are brought in.

Everyone assembled for information training

Attentive listeners

Toilet recipients looking over the contracts

Learning about the toilets

Shada CBO members

Madanm Bwa Shada community leader

Madanm Bwa speaking to the recipients

Theo SOIL Regional Director signing toilet contracts

Toilet recipients signing contracts

Toilet instructions on the back of the contracts

Residents checking out the row of toilets

The first 25 toilets lined up

Theo on the observation deck

Buckets of po pistach cover material

Po Pistach

Cover material and toilets

Rachel weighing a bucket of cover material

Getting everything in order

Sebastien taking a final lookover

Sebastien from Re.Source on hygiene promotion

Sebastien from Re.Source on data control 2

Sebastien from Re.Source on pee dumbells

Sebastien from Re.Source on data control

Buckets of po pistach being weighed

Public toilet that may start to be used less with new Household Toilets in place

The first toilet making its way to a home

One handed

More happy toilet recipients

One by one to homes they go

Ready and lift!

Standing guard over his new toilet

Even toilets are carried on heads

Yeah, that's right, we're getting toilets!

Eagerly awaiting distribution

Smiles with a toilet

A smiling pose

A happy toilet recipient

Off they go!

Going going gone!

Sebastien talking about the pee gallon dumbells

Neighborhood onlookers

Sleeping neighborhood dogs

Milling about before the toilet training

Excited kids

The meeting room

KOSS Award Recipient #2

KOSS Award Recipient #3

KOSS Award Recipient #4

KOSS Award Recipient #5

KOSS Award Recipient #6


Konbit Sante

Konbit Sante


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  1. Bringing the Toilets Home | re.source - [...] It was a pretty intense process, but it went off without a hitch. This video on SOIL’s blog shows …

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