February Newsletter: An Update from Haiti

To sign up to receive an update from SOIL's teams in Haiti directly in your inbox each month, click here to join the list. Dear friends,This month, I felt it would be irresponsible not to directly address the challenging situation that is ongoing in Haiti. As some of you may have heard, the entire country has been on lockdown for the past six days as demonstrators take to the streets in a growing movement demanding the resignation of the president, justice for those accused of embezzling billions in development funds, and a solution to the economic crisis that is ...

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Refining SOIL’s Path to Financial Sustainability

SOIL is hard at work to refine our household ecological sanitation service, EkoLakay, so that we have a strong foundation as we grow to reach 15% of Cap-Haitien’s urban population with safely managed sanitation by 2025.  As a part of these efforts, SOIL had the honor of hosting Peter Townsley in Cap-Haitien for a month late last year. Peter is the former CEO of a fellow Container-Based Sanitation Alliance (CBSA) member, Clean Team in Ghana, and he was instrumental in transforming their sanitation business into rapidly growing enterprise on a clear pathway towards ...

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Sanitation for a Rapidly Urbanizing World

Over 700 million people living in urban areas globally currently lack access to even basic sanitation, and without innovation this problem will only get worse. The global urban population is projected to increase by 2.5 billion people by 2050, with much of that growth concentrated in informal settlements and locations that are highly vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change impacts*. It is critical to identify innovative technological solutions, services, and financing mechanisms to meet the sanitation needs of people living in rapidly growing urban settle...

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Global Sanitation Success Stories

SOIL's friends at cewas and the EcoSan Club publish a quarterly Sustainable Sanitation Practice journal which gathers stories of ecological sanitation systems, big or small, that are flourishing around the world. We are excited that SOIL is featured in the journal's latest edition as one of the stories of success. SOIL's article explores the lessons that SOIL has learned as we've worked to build a regenerative urban sanitation service and outlines how we're prioritizing inclusive innovation, responsible growth, and close engagement with the public sector along the ...

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Making Sanitation Accessible

We talk a lot at SOIL about increasing access to sanitation in Haiti. We’re hard at work to expand our programs every day as we work to build a city-wide sanitation service in a country where 75% of people lack access to a toilet. But what does it mean to build a service that’s truly accessible? As we work to expand our EkoLakay service into new homes and new neighborhoods in the years to come, we’re also thinking about expanding access in a different way. For people with different levels of physical ability, making your way to a room far from your bed to use the ...

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In Remembrance

Dear friends, In countries and cultures around the world, there are days of collective celebration and days of collective mourning and remembrance. At the beginning of the year, most of us are focused on celebration - the beginning of a new year, the endless possibilities that await us, the unique moment of joy in the unknown future. In Haiti, that same joy is punctuated with a day of shared sorrow and renewed grief. Today, nine years after the earthquake that claimed so many lives and changed so many others, Haiti's bustle and vibrancy fall quiet as those who ...

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Taking a Ride with SOIL’s Sanitation Heroes

Happy new year to SOIL supporters near and far! As we all settle into the new year, I have been reflecting on 2018 and some of the moments that most inspired me. One experience pops immediately to mind, and I wanted to share it as a reminder of the importance of all that goes on behind the scenes at SOIL that makes this work possible. As the years have gone by and my roles and responsibilities have shifted, I find I have less and less time to spend in the field. In the last months of 2018, I was honored to be able to take the time to accompany our EkoLakay collectors on ...

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Growing 250,000 Trees

Though there’s ongoing debate about the extent and proximate cause of the challenge, what is clear is that Haiti’s mountainsides are deforested to dangerous levels and the country’s farmers struggle to produce enough to feed its people, in part due to depleted soils. As a result, most of Haiti relies on expensive imported foods, a factor which contributes to a cycle of poverty for both the country’s farmers and its people.  This drives us at SOIL. And it’s why we work tirelessly to treat and transform waste into high-quality organic fertilizer, branded ...

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Towards a Greener 2019

Dear friends, As we say goodbye to another year, it feels natural to think of the future and what it holds for us - our families, our friends, our planet. No matter who you are, no matter where you are, we share connections to each other and to the planet we are so fortunate to call home. I am so very proud to be working with partners and supporters from all corners of the globe who share a vision and a passion for creating solutions to the most intractable problems we face. In the coming years, I believe that we can build on the collaborative work we've done to build a ...

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Showcasing Possibility at COP24

Earlier this month, SOIL was honored to receive the United Nations' Momentum for Change Award in Planetary Health at COP24 in Katowice, Poland. Momentum for Change honors innovative and transformative solutions that address both climate change and wider economic, social and environmental challenges. Recognized as a Lighthouse Activity, SOIL’s work is honored for being a practical, scalable and replicable example of a groundbreaking intervention to tackle climate change. Check out this video showcasing the Planetary Health award winners (narrated by Sir David Attenb...

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