Latest Updates


World Economic Forum: The world needs more toilets, but Western solutions aren’t the answer

Here at SOIL we are thrilled to see this thoughtful piece from the World Economic Forum questioning the need for flush toilets and traditional sewerage systems. For ten years we have worked in Haiti to implement sustainable sanitation solutions that require no water and no infrastructure. Our toilets transform human waste into rich compost, recapturing the nutrients in human waste that are so often lost in a flush. From the World Economic Forum: "The invention of the flush toilet, or water closet, in 1596 ended open defecation and transferred excreta outside of ...

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An Optimal Flush

Faithful readers of the SOIL blog will know that we spend a lot of time thinking about cover material at SOIL. Cover material is basically the “flush” that keeps the toilet from getting gross as covering the waste with some kind of dry material prevents it from smelling and deters flies from visiting. Here at SOIL, we call it bonzodè (pronounced bon-zo-deh, literally “good smell” in Haitian Creole), and it’s a crucial piece of the SOIL business model. With thousands of customers each using a handful every time they poo in a SOIL toilet, we need a whole lot ...

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Capacity Building Training Series for SOIL EkoLakay team

As our friends and supporters know, the SOIL team is working to build a sustainable business model for providing household sanitation services in Haiti – our goal is to spin off our service, called EkoLakay, into a privately run Haitian social business. As we work toward achieving that goal, we recognize that we must build the capacity of our team and become even more efficient so that we can continue to increase our impact while reducing our operating costs. To ensure we are effectively building team capacity, we have partnered with a group called Partners Worldwide ...

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SOIL Celebrates International Women’s Day

This year's International Women's Day theme is #BeBoldForChange. The World Economic Forum has predicted that the gender gap (which represents gender inequity in areas like health, wages, political representation, and access to and quality of education) won't fully close until 2186 – 169 years from now. Can we leverage International Women's Day as a catalyst to foment bold change and reject this stark forecast? At SOIL, women's voices are at the forefront of our work. Four of SOIL's seven organizational directors are women, including our executive director and ...

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Sludge Love at 4th International Faecal Sludge Management Conference

A few weeks ago, SOIL Directors Sasha Kramer and Nick Preneta traveled to Chennai, India to represent SOIL at the 4th International Faecal Sludge Management Conference (FSM4). Sasha gave a presentation about SOIL's EkoLakay program, and we also shared two posters about Konpòs Lakay and our ongoing cost analysis research. @SOILHaiti sasha kramer speaking wisdom at #FSM4 https://t.co/eFFGTNbJkN — eve mackinnon (@eve_mackinnon) February 20, 2017   (Full disclosure: the poster presented at FSM4 had a typo in the title...#slugelove anyone?)   And SOIL takes ...

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A Vision for the Future

On January 31st and February 1st SOIL’s management teams from Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haiten gathered together to spend two days digging into the following questions: what is the five-year vision for SOIL’s work and impact? And what work do we need to do in the coming five years to ensure we reach our goal? This workshop was a rare and welcome opportunity to bring SOIL leadership from both offices together under one roof – although many of our staff travel between the offices frequently, it is difficult for management to set aside large chunks of time to be away ...

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SOIL Advisers: Supporting Capacity Development and Social Business Solutions

I am pleased to introduce you to SOIL's new team: Ekip Konseye! The word konseye in Creole means advisors, and at SOIL, the Konseye position serves a key role in monitoring and evaluation, supporting operational activities, supporting SOIL’s Program Directors, and coordinating with external research partners. The long-term vision of Konseye is to support capacity development at SOIL and ensure that the solutions we’re developing can be sustainable, scale-able, and successful over the long term. But it gets better than that! The Konseye role is flexible and can be ...

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Compost & Climate Research Interns (Stajye Klima ak Konpòs)

Gavin, Junior, and Darline model the adapted buckets used as chamber bases for quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from the compost piles. Stajye Klim ak Konpòs: Introducing SOIL’s first Climate and Compost Research Fellows! Every day, SOIL is showing that ecological sanitation (EcoSan) can provide an impressive array of sustainability benefits. SOIL’s EcoSan model provides dignified sanitation, removes harmful pathogens from the environment, and recycles waste into nutrient-rich compost. Recently, scientists have also started evaluating whether ecological ...

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Empowering women. Period.

All around the world, women and girls face a monthly reality: menstruation. Periods are often taboo, something shameful, to be hidden away and never mentioned. Certainly menstruation is often considered a women-only topic – we ask each other for help if we’re in a tight spot and have forgotten a pad or tampon, we talk in coded language about cramps, irritation, and other inconveniences we tend to bear in silence each month. It is truly unfortunate that menstruation is still considered a shameful and unacceptable topic in most places. And for many women silence is ...

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Nature Commode: Why Ecological Sanitation Is An Important Market Development Opportunity

SOIL friend and recent visitor Tucker Cahill Chambers wrote an article for "Nature Commode" in which he explores the possibility that Ecological Sanitation represents a valuable market solution for sanitation businesses worldwide. Because EcoSan solutions like SOIL's are holistic, tackling multiple issues simultaneously and leveraging full cycle solutions, these solutions are also, at heart, incredibly efficient, making them attractive from a business perspective in addition to humanitarian and environmental perspectives. Tucker writes "Ecological sanitation, on the ...

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