Photo: Tony Marcelli.
How Haiti’s Innovative Sanitation Solutions Are Spreading Across the World
Earlier this summer I opened my voicemail to a message from my dear friend Anne, who had left a message for me during her evening commute. She called me from the side of the road after having been so deeply moved by an unexpected NPR segment on the sanitation crisis in Haiti and the courage of Haiti’s latrine cleaners, the bayakou, across the country. Unlike Anne, who has long known of SOIL’s work to transform waste in Haiti, most loyal NPR listeners in the US learned ...
As the SOIL team braced for Irma to make its way through the Caribbean this week and potentially through the communities in Northern Haiti where we have worked since 2006, we hoped for the best and prepared for the worst. We gathered materials, readied our vehicles, and hit the streets throughout frontline communities to urge those who were able to evacuate to do so. During our EkoLakay collections, we talked with hard to reach communities about the risks of flooding and importance of safety planning.
For the 48 hours prior to Irma's arrival north ...
Photo from Cap-Haitien flooding in 2016. Our EkoLakay toilets are intentionally designed to be resilient to natural disasters.
While our hearts are heavy from watching this past week's climate devastation unfold in frontline communities across Texas, Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, we’ve also been keeping a close eye on Hurricane Irma as it heads across the Caribbean.
We’re all still hoping that Irma will veer to the north and fizzle out, but we’re also bracing for the worst here in Haiti. Right now, northern Haiti, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic are under ...
Photo: Tony Marcelli
SOIL just wrapped up its fiscal year last month and we ended on a high note with 73 EkoLakay toilet installations in July alone. That’s more toilets than we had previously installed during any month this year!
The majority of these new customers live in two densely populated urban areas in Cap-Haitien: Nan Bannann, a relatively new service area for EkoLakay, and Fort Saint Michel, a nearby neighborhood where SOIL has been working for several years. We don't have precise data on sanitation coverage in these neighborhoods, but local community-based ...
Photo: Monica Wise
Every year thousands of practitioners and changemakers from around the world gather in Stockholm to address critical global water issues at World Water Week. This year, the conference's theme is “water and waste: reduce and reuse” and participants will focus on the intersection of the water and sanitation crises with an eye on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
SOIL is honored to be a part of these important conversations to both learn from global experts and to present on the innovative and sustainable container...
In Haiti, the demand for affordable and dignified sanitation solutions, like EkoLakay’s in-home composting toilet, is high. SOIL is striving to be conscientious of how we grow to meet that demand so that we’re expanding in a way that’s sustainable. Even as we refine our model and work to grow responsibly, we have exciting news to report about how much we have in fact grown throughout the past year.
Are you ready for it? In one year’s time, SOIL has nearly doubled the size of our waste treatment operations. This means we have nearly doubled both the amount of ...
At SOIL we are always humbled by the outpouring of generous and creative support we receive from SOIL cultivators and friends across the world who allow us to incubate sustainable sanitation solutions for Haiti’s most vulnerable communities. Some of our most creative support to date has come out of one high school in Miami – which has a club dedicated solely to advocating SOIL’s mission to transform waste into resources in Haiti!
At the end of this past school year, students from the SOIL at Miami Beach Senior High Club (SOIL@MBSH) collaborated with art students ...
Photo: Virginia Gardiner
As a founding member of the Container-Based Sanitation (CBS) Alliance, SOIL is proud to see other container-based technologies gaining steam worldwide. In an article for Next Billion, LooWatt's Virginia Gardiner explains that it's necessary to shift away from seeing flush toilets as the solution to the sanitation crisis and argues that CBS systems, like SOIL's EkoLakay in-home toilet, are the most viable sanitation intervention for rapidly urbanizing communities.
From Next Billion's article:
"In the 21st century, sanitation infrastructure ...
What better time than during the dead heat of summer to charge up your smart phone and trek through the urban sprawl of Haiti to interview people about their toilets (or lack thereof)? Undeterred by the heat, this is exactly what the SOIL team has been up to this summer!
The Port-au-Prince office just completed the first segment of this marketing research with a satisfaction survey to assess how current EkoLakay customers like their household EcoSan toilet. With just shy of 200 customers in the Ti Plas Kazo neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, our sample size was modest, but ...
Container Based Sanitation Background
Traditional sanitation models - flush toilets - require a reliable water source and sewage infrastructure, both of which can be cost prohibitive and infeasible to build in urban settlements with contested land tenure. The usual alternatives, onsite systems like pit latrines and septic tanks, are also infeasible or unsafe in many urban areas due to space limitations, high water tables, and population density. With the population of urban areas set to double by 2050 and one in three people still lacking access to a toilet worldwide, ...