Equip SOIL for Success: We Need Your Help!

SOIL is busy these days! In Port-au-Prince, the office is buzzing with plans for rolling out the EkoLakay service, and in Cap-Haitien, SOIL staff are working at full speed to build and install over 100 household toilets every month. To keep up with these exciting developments, we need your help to meet five specific needs: new uniforms, improving our solar-power system, purchasing a new Poopmobile moto, grinding cover material to "flush" our toilets, and installing a solar-powered water pump. All of these activities are critical to the smooth and efficient scale-up of ...

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The MOON: The problem is the SOILution, An interview with Sasha Kramer

"Sasha Kramer is a slight, blonde former New Yorker who got a Ph.D. in ecology from Stanford University in 2006, the same year she co-founded SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods)—a nonprofit headquartered in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. SOIL’s mission is to “promote dignity, health, and sustainable livelihoods through the transformation of wastes into resources.” In other words, composting human wastes to create the rich, black soil that Haiti desperately needs, while eliminating the pathogens and pollution the country doesn’t need. SOIL doesn’t intend ...

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Sanitation in Schools

Schools need toilets. This may sound like a no-brainer, but the reality is that many schools in Haiti, and elsewhere in developing countries, lack safe, private, dignified places for students to go to the bathroom. According to Human Rights Watch, in Haiti "most students and teachers have nowhere to relieve themselves, wash their hands with soap, obtain clean water, or, for women and girls, maintain menstruation hygiene. Where facilities do exist, they may not be sufficient in number, may not function, or may not be clean or safe. Nearly 60 percent of schools lack ...

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Beyond the Headlines- Helping Haiti: Is Aid the Cure or the Disease?

"The man next to me on the bus strikes up a conversation during a rare smooth section of road from Port-au-Prince to Cap Haitien. “Are you a missionary?” “No.” “Do you work for a NGO?” “No.” “Then why the heck are you in Haiti?!” He’s not surprised that I want to visit Haiti – in fact, he thinks Haiti is supremely beautiful. He is shocked, however, because almost all Westerners in Haiti work for either missionary or aid organizations.        

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After College: Poop Can Be Powerful—Ecological Sanitation with SOIL in Haiti

"You wait on a street corner, taking in the lush tropical scenery and the colorful clothing of the locals. It’s hard to believe that only a few months ago you were still in school, frantically trying to finish your reading for the week’s classes and wondering if you’d ever be able to submit your thesis on time. For a brief moment you totally forget the heat and the noise of your current location and you think back to your tranquil, leafy campus. You imagine running into a friend in the tree-lined circle outside your lecture hall or stopping by a professor’s musty ...

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ONE: 7 Sustainable toilets that could change the way the world poops

"We know how important toilets are in the fight against water contamination and diarrheal disease. But because of infrastructure and cost, conventional toilets don’t always work in developing countries – and as a result, 35% of the world’s population to lack access to basic, working toilets.  

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takepart: People Are Cooking With Human Poo—and That’s a Good Thing

"To get the fuel she needed to cook her food and warm her home, Kenyan Nancy Wambui, 54, used to buy charcoal made from chopped-down trees. But recently, she was given a new set of briquettes to try, that looked just like regular charcoal but worked even better. The secret ingredient? Human poop. “They took a long time to burn off, so you could cook and then still have heat to heat hot water for bathing,” she said of her first experience using the new fuel.

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EkoLakay: Meeting Social Needs through Business

You may have read that SOIL is excited to launch our EkoLakay service in Port-au-Prince in the coming weeks, and if you’ve been a fan of SOIL for a while, you know that this has been a long time coming! But if you’re new around here, you may not know what all the fuss is about! Here’s the rundown on a few questions you might have: Um, what IS "EkoLakay"? Simply put, EkoLakay is the social business model that SOIL is piloting to develop an ecologically and economically sustainable solution to the problem of sanitation access in Haiti. The brand name EkoLakay comes ...

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Moonshot Sanitation

Before I arrived in Haiti for my Sustainable Development Internship with SOIL, my friends and family sent me a series of articles about wastewater treatment technology and the latest research on sanitation in poor countries (watch Bill Gates drink a glass of water made from poop!). A friend compared the research and development happening to address the global sanitation crisis to a moonshot, an allusion to the U.S. Apollo moon landing mission, i.e. the intense application of resources to a big technical problem that needs to be solved in a short time-frame. Moonshot ...

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The Guardian: Food security: Is it Time to Recognise the Nutritional Value of Human Waste?

"'Given this natural aversion to human waste, it takes rigorous research, careful implementation and skillful social marketing to overcome the ‘yuck’ factor,' says Kramer. 'That said, we found that, in Haiti, once people are able to see, smell and touch the final product they are more than eager to test it in their gardens.' SOIL in The Guardian

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