A Fuel Crisis in Haiti

  • EkoLakay Collectors in Cap-Haitien

Read SOIL’s September newsletter below. To receive stories like these directly in your inbox each month, click here to sign up to our mailing list.

It’s the start of a new school year in Haiti and this time of year is normally marked with possibility and hope for what’s to come. Unfortunately, this September has been a somber one as the impacts of Haiti’s ongoing economic crisis are coming to a head once again. The double-digit inflation rates continued through the summer and the cost of tuition, food, and fuel has risen remarkably. But it’s not just the cost of fuel that’s the issue.

In large part due to the country’s inability to afford gas imports, Haiti is once again facing country-wide fuel shortages. Lines at gas stations wind through intersections as people wait for hours, often without success, to fill their tanks with what is now exorbitantly expensive gas. Where people can find public transportation, many found the cost of a ride increased last week by upwards of 100%, essentially overnight. Though many hoped that the reappearance of gas at some stations late last weekend would ease tensions and allow for some normalcy to return, things haven’t changed much. Even where gas stations have been restocked, the supply lasts only a short time.

The same gas that is used to get people to school and work is also the fuel that we rely on to operate the motorcycles that keep SOIL’s sanitation service rolling. Thanks to the ingenuity and dedication of SOIL’s team and deep connections in the communities where we work, SOIL has been able to restock fuel and continue servicing toilets. SOIL’s team also made sure that every single scheduled toilet installation last week went on as planned. As a result of this extraordinary effort, eleven additional families, most of whom didn’t previously have a safe place to go to the bathroom, now have a in-home toilet that safely manages their waste. This is what we mean when we call our colleagues “sanitation heroes. They truly are just that.

We look forward to a month when we have less heavy news to share, but for now it feels important to keep SOIL’s community of supporters informed about the hardship faced by communities across the country we all love so dearly, especially for those who are the most vulnerable. Please continue to hold Haiti in your hearts, and from the bottom of ours, thank you for standing with SOIL as we work to provide access to safe sanitation services 365 days of the year.

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Photo Credit: Bijay Rai

1 Reply to "A Fuel Crisis in Haiti"

  • John Gooch
    September 15, 2019 (12:07 pm)

    Electric motorbike technology is improving and getting cheaper, so Haiti’s solar power will help.

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