Baptiste, the Bonzode Chef

If you have been following SOIL’s progress, you have probably seen that our EkoLakay household toilet business is growing bigger every day. However, signing up more customers requires having all of the necessary materials for the service. And one of our most critical inputs is our toilet “flushing” material, bonzode (read more about why cover material is so important here). Finding good materials to make the bonzode is important, and we need them to be cheap and sustainably available. In the past, we have used a mix of 75% sugar cane bagasse (the woody parts of ...

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Pippa Biddle: Seeing Poverty as a Business Isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing

"’Poverty is a business,’ Patricia Wolff, founder of Meds & Food for Kids was quoted as saying in a 2010 New York Times article about a nutritional, peanut-based paste that has transformed the treatment of acute malnutrition in children. She got a lot of flack for that quote, but I think that she was on to something. Over the past few years, I’ve become increasingly inclined to prefer hand-up’s over handouts. Calling poverty a business might be punchy and inflammatory, basically asking nonprofiter’s and proponents of aid to rip into it, but it’s a ...

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Almost.

Almost. That word, or rather, it’s Kreyol equivalent, preske (press-keh), is being used quite a lot these days. The construction that the landlord is doing at our office is almost done. We’ve almost perfected the updated technical design for our cement toilets. We’re almost ready to order our new, more environmentally-friendly compost packaging with its improved informational label. It’s almost time to harvest our peanut experiment – an exciting one because peanuts are a major crop here, but a bit nerve-wracking, as there are biological reasons to suspect that ...

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Foundation Beyond Belief: Q3 2014 beneficiary, SOIL, continues critical sanitation work

SOIL was deeply honored to be chosen as a Q3 2014 Poverty and Health beneficiary. Here at SOIL we are developing sanitation businesses that fight poverty and improve public health in Haiti. In addition to Foundation Beyond Belief's previous report on our progress, the $11,095 grant from FBB this past fall helped SOIL to expand some of our most critical programs in Haiti. Here’s a short summary of some of the accomplishments that SOIL achieved over the past six months with the support of FBB: Expanding Access to Household Level Sanitation  SOIL is working to ...

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Geolocating SOIL Toilets


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, ...

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SOIL is Hiring: Seeking an EkoLakay Project Manager

SOIL is seeking a full time EkoLakay Project Manager to support the scale up of SOIL’s social business pilot for providing sustainable household sanitation in Port-au-Prince. We are looking for someone passionate about researching, designing, implementing, and improving social business models for the sustainable private-sector provision of ecological sanitation services. Thank you for sharing this announcement widely and helping us find the right person to join our passionate and dynamic team! POSITION DESCRIPTION The full position description is on Idealist.org. ...

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Getting the Message Out

As SOIL's summer intern, it’s a pleasure to bring you an update about EkoLakay, SOIL’s household toilet social business pilot. This summer, I have the opportunity to participate in SOIL's marketing team, which is testing marketing strategies for all of SOIL's services and products. As you may know, selling even the best services or products doesn’t happen just by snapping your fingers. In order to achieve SOIL’s initial goal of serving more than 50 families in Ti Plas Kazo (a neighborhood near the SOIL Port-au-Prince office), the marketing team has been hard at ...

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A little HELP from our friends

At SOIL, we always love when we hit upon mutually beneficial partnerships, so we're thrilled to serve as an internship site this summer for the Haitian Education Leadership Program (HELP). HELP's mission is "to create, through merit- and needs-based university scholarships, a community of young professionals and leaders who promote a more just society in Haiti." In addition to scholarships, HELP offers a variety of support services to help develop and hone their students' professional skills, including English and computer literacy courses as well as an internship progra...

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The long and eventful journey of the SOIL household toilet design

The development of SOIL’s household urine diversion toilet, aka the EkoLakay toilet, has been an iterative process. We thought that it would be great to share that history with you: EcoSan lovers, SOIL fans, and toilet developers around the world! A good toilet design should take into account cultural practices and habits and should be ergonomic, durable, practical and last, but not least, aesthetically pleasing. Let’s walk though our household toilet development from the beginning: 2009: The Clay Pot 2011: The Artsy Wooden Box 2012: The Shiny Formica re.sou...

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