Nou la, We are Here
SOIL sanitation service collection in the Fort St. Michel neighborhood of Cap-Haitien, Haiti - February 2020. Credit: Etant Dupain.
Pou jwenn enfòmasyon konsènan sou COVID-19, swiv lyen sa a.
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Earlier this week, SOIL’s Human Resources Director Wisner Jean Louis shared, “People continue to use toilets, so we will continue to be here.” This sentiment captures the heart of SOIL’s work during the ongoing pandemic.
Today, when staying home is the best way to save lives, the importance of universal access to safe sanitation clearer than ever. Beyond providing families living in high-risk environments a safe in-home toilet, reducing the spread of waterborne disease is critical to ensuring baseline health, strengthening community resilience in the face of this new public health threat. While we continue to uphold protocols to protect our staff and invest in efforts to increase the resilience of our operations moving forward, SOIL is in regular conversations with and share learnings from SOIL’s response. As we face an uncertain future, we know that we are stronger together.
There are now 30 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Haiti, though the true spread is likely much more expansive than current reports may indicate. For the many people in Haiti and throughout the world who live day-to-day, sheltering in place is not an option. SOIL’s Romel Toussaint shared that, for most people in our surrounding communities, “it is difficult to do what other countries are able to [to slow the spread].”
As we work on the front-lines of under-resourced urban communities facing uncertain levels of risk, we are devastated to see ICE continue deportations to Haiti, bringing people from one of the epicenters of the pandemic to one of the most vulnerable health systems on earth. We echo the calls from communities here and around the globe urging that our response to this crisis be rooted in love, inclusion, justice, and safety – especially for those who are most marginalized.
In the face of a growing global pandemic, our commitment to health, safety, and to making sure families have access to a safe in-home toilet is steadfast. We are honored to be with you in this fight and hope you will keep Haiti in your hearts in the coming days. Wherever you are in this world, we are keeping you in ours.
With love from Haiti,
The SOIL Team