August 2013 Newsletter: Summer Parties
Ecological sanitation (EcoSan) is a new concept in Haiti (first introduced by SOIL in 2006), but it has caught on quickly. This is partly because of the technology’s unique suitability to a country with almost no sanitation infrastructure, limited funding for expensive sanitation facilities, and enormous demand for soil amendments. But the positive reception of EcoSan in Haiti can also be attributed in part to SOIL’s successful outreach, education, and social marketing campaign. At the opening of every new EcoSan toilet facility, SOIL puts on an educational “toilet inauguration” party in collaboration with local community groups that celebrates the opening of the new toilet and provides some fun, interactive games to teach people how to use and maintain their new toilets. SOIL also hosts regular “toilet tours” and workshops that help other people, entreprenurs, and organizations build their own toilets and compost sites and replicate SOIL’s successes.
But we’re especially excited about the lastest form of promotion for SOIL’s EcoSan toilets as it is turning into a viable business opportunity in its own right: a mobile EcoSan toilet service. SOIL now has dozens of mobile toilets available to be rented out for festivals, carnivals, and other large events around Haiti. As the summer festival season kicks into gear, SOIL’s mobile toilets are in ever-increasing demand. Check out this recent blog post about the Limonade town party (or Fèt Champèt as they’re called in Creole) for some beautiful photos of former port-a-potties converted into compost-making, sanitation-providing, festival-going environmental toilets. Social business opportunities like this one encourage us to keep believing that with the right low-cost technology and true grassroots support, increasing access to sustainble sanitation is a viable dream.
With love from Haiti,
- Local journalists in Haiti write about the challenge of fighting a cholera epedemic in a country with minimal funding for sustaining long-term traditional sanitation inventions. We’re proud that SOIL’s alternative approach is highlighted as a success story.
- The new SOIL Poopmobile is saving SOIL money and helping us turn human wastes into valuable compost months faster than we used to. Read how here.
- SOIL’s Port-au-Prince Sanitation Coordinator, Jimmy Louis, writes about the experience of leading EcoSan trainings and how much he enjoyed taking a group of children on a recent EcoSan field trip.
- Our Cap-Haitien Sanitation Director, Emmanuel Antoine, blogs about the experience of taking our friends from the 11th Hour Project on a tour. It was a long, sunny heart-warming day as many people wanted to show off their immaculately clean and well-used SOIL toilets, the compost site team demonstrated drum washing and compost temperature monitoring, and there were many things to admire at the SOIL farm and tree nursery where plants are thriving in SOIL’s compost.
- We started a new feature on our website to showcase the beautiful and encouraging letters we received in support of our work. Read the latest letter, from Olivier, age 14, and then write us a letter too!
- And the month wouldn’t be complete without a few new Theo Talks episodes: Theo Gets a Lesson in How to Play Marbles and Heaps, Heaps and Heaps of Children.
- Join us on Facebook and Twitter and tell all your friends about us too!
- Support SOIL by making a contribution today at www.oursoil.org/you-can-help/donate/
- Please help us continue the positive momentum by signing up for a monthly recurring donation