11 results for author: Monika Roy


Published Research Confirms SOIL’s Composting Method is Effective

At SOIL, we love teaming up with scientists to explore how ecological sanitation works. And one of the main pillars of our ecological sanitation operation is transforming environment-polluting poop into nutrient-rich compost. To do this, we follow the World Health Organization (WHO) standards for human waste composting – creating piles with the ideal ratio of poop to cover material so that natural heat-tolerant bacteria will get to work and break the materials down and destroy pathogens. These piles get hot! At peak temperatures, an average pile will reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit, far surpassing the WHO’s recommended threshold. A few years ...

SOIL Celebrates May Day at the Annual Limbé Festival

May Day, or Agriculture and Labor Day here in Haiti, is celebrated as a national public holiday. One may wonder about the state of agricultural production here in Haiti after many decades of deforestation and environmental degradation. What is there to celebrate when Haiti is losing over 30 million metric tons of top soil every year and has to import the majority of its food? Haiti used to be known as the “Pearl of the Antilles,” producing so much that it exported the majority of its food. At SOIL, we believe that it’s important to celebrate all the work that local communities are doing to improve agriculture systems and support the dream ...

SOIL Partnership Gets Vegetative with Vetiver Experiment

We love looking at the effect of compost on agricultural production, and we love it when other organizations take an interest too! This time we have teamed up with Caribbean Flavors and Fragrances S.A. (CFF), a Haitian company in Port-au-Prince that manufactures essential oils, and the Sustainable Lush (SLush) funding program through the handmade cosmetics company Lush. This agriculture experiment focuses on vetiver, a robust plant whose roots contain an essential oil that CFF extracts and Lush incorporates into many of its cosmetic products. Vetiver (scientific name Chrysopogon zizanioides) is a perennial bunchgrass perhaps not quite as well known ...

Toilet Design Update – EkoMobil!

Construction has been booming in northern Haiti along the corridor between Cap-Haitien and Ouanaminthe where the SOIL Cap-Haitien office and waste treatment site are located. The construction sites are managed by a combination of domestic and foreign companies and non-governmental organizations, and they are providing jobs to hundreds of Haitians. All of these people have to poop somewhere! SOIL is perfectly positioned, both geographically and strategically, to meet the demand for the short-term sanitation access required at these construction sites. SOIL's EkoMobil rental sanitation service is ecological, economical, and experienced in providing ...

“Solar Solar Everywhere, And We’ve Even Got Some to Spare….”

….For all of our activities, that is. Our exciting news to share is that both of our Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien offices will soon be fully functioning on solar power. It was only very recently with the expansion of our projects that we noticed our power situation just wasn’t cutting it. In Port-au-Prince, city utilities are unreliable, which meant we were running the generator all the time to power our laptops and office appliances. We hated contributing to carbon emissions, and we also hated hearing the loud generator motor at work. In Cap-Haitien, we already had a small solar system that was initially installed when we built the ...

Farewell Theo, Welcome Romel

The month of December was full of highlights, from the Paris Climate Conference to SOIL reaching over 500 household toilets. However, perhaps the biggest moment was the transitioning of our Cap-Haitien Regional Director Theo Huitema over to Romel Toussaint. Theo came into the Cap-Haitien Regional Director position four years ago and totally transformed the Cap-Haitien office with his many years of management experience. Always a joke on hand, he was an expert in connecting with the staff and communities where SOIL works. By fostering a team environment, the Cap office was able to accomplish major projects such as developing the infrastructure at ...

Erinold’s Trip to the USA Expands SOIL’s Pathogen Testing Capacity

The SOIL Cap-Haitien team is happy to have its Sanitation Coordinator back after a 2-week trip in June to the United States. Erinold Frederic is a busy man in the office, not only managing SOIL’s busiest sanitation program EkoLakay, but also the laboratory where each batch of compost is tested for pathogens before sale. When the opportunity arose to expand SOIL’s pathogen testing capacity, Erinold stepped up to the plate….the microscope plate that is. Although SOIL currently tests for E. coli as a broad-spectrum pathogen indicator for human waste treatment, Erinold learned about how to test for Ascaris eggs and larvae. Ascaris is another ...

Spreading Compost Love

Jean Delinoit works at SOIL as part of the agricultural team, helping to water the experimental gardens, take care of the animals, and working with the rest of the agriculture team on project implementation. He sees first-hand the benefits of SOIL compost in terms of soil amelioration and increases in food productivity. His dream is to further develop the area of Dubout (the area where he resides, and where our SOIL office is located) agriculturally, and to increase Haitian food culture and food security. Therefore, in his free time, he’s taken to working with a group of youths about gardening with compost! On May 1st, which is a celebration ...

New SOIL Waste Treatment Site for Cap-Haitien – Ground Breaking!

The paperwork is finalized, the legalization papers are stamped, the borders are defined, and now we’ve started construction! The newest SOIL waste treatment composting facility is located in Mochinette, a small village between urban Cap-Haitien and our demonstration farm site in Limonade. The area is beautiful: generally flat grassland with plenty of green shrubbery and mango trees dotting the landscape. In fact, there is a huge mango tree right on our site that provides shade for the drum run team to relax in during break-time and, even better, it's currently teeming with delicious mangos that have been keeping us fortified while we work on ...

Experiments in Composting: Po Pistach!

We are REALLY excited up here at the Cap-Haitien office about our new cover material: ground peanut shells! We have been using bagasse (a byproduct of sugarcane production) for years, which has been doing the job, but perhaps not breaking down as fast as we would like. It’s important for us to have a carbon material that works well with feces to break down into compost in a timely manner, as now we are processing so many people’s “waste”. Because sugarcane production is a large portion of the Haitian agronomy sector, it’s been easy for us to obtain as much bagasse as we want. However, we have recently become good friends with Meds for Kids, ...