Latest Updates


In Solidarity with Nepal

When we heard the news that Nepal was hit by a second powerful earthquake, our hearts dropped. It seems that moments of silence are the most appropriate in times of great tragedy such as this, but we also want to speak out through our sadness to share some humble insights that may help those who are working to repair some of the damage done in Nepal. Many involved in the relief effort in Nepal have already reached out to SOIL for advice, and we are grateful to be able to assist in even small ways. We’re sharing a list of resources and lessons learned while working in ...

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SOIL and Re.Source Co-Author Paper on Household Sanitation

Every Wednesday I give tours to visitors who are interested in learning about SOIL, and every time I start to explain EkoLakay, SOIL’s household toilet business pilot, I’m flooded with questions: Why focus on private households instead of public toilets? Why use container-based toilets that require buckets of waste be collected every week? Do people like using dry (i.e., non-flushing) toilets? Can SOIL really make this service financially sustainable? These are all great questions – which is why we’re so excited to share a newly published paper about SOIL’s ...

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Happy Earth Day 2015!

It should come as no surprise that Earth Day is always a busy day at an organization like SOIL, and this year is no exception. Today we hosted 3 very different groups of visitors, but who were all interested in SOIL’s eco-friendly activities. Our first visitors of the day were a small group of Americans who have been in Haiti since the late 90s. They are working on designing an education center for their scholarship program in Deschappelles, a town in the Artibonite region of Haiti. They are interested in incorporating composting toilets into their designs, so they ...

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An EkoLakay Update!

Since I wrote about the Port-au-Prince launch of SOIL’s EkoLakay service, things have been B-U-S-Y! With an initial goal of serving 50 families (and 500 by the end of 2016) the Port-au-Prince office has a lot of work to do to get off the ground. We started with a community survey covering three of five neighborhoods in Ti Plas Kazo, a community adjacent to our Port-au-Prince office where we hope to start offering the EkoLakay service. The goal of the survey was to get a better idea of the demographic makeup of the community, learn about the availability and type of ...

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Dubout Soccer Team Biding Their Time for a Comeback

When you walk into SOIL’s Cap-Haitien office, you won’t miss the beautiful trophy in place of pride next to the SOIL mission statement. While SOIL has won plenty of accolades for our work in ecological sanitation, this particular trophy is actually a symbol of the team’s other passion and area of expertise: soccer. Last summer, the Cap-Haitien office faced off against the local champions, the Dubout Sport Club. Dubout had recently won a regional tournament in Caracol and had taken home the trophy – the trophy that the “Ekip SOIL” (SOIL Team) then seized ...

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Waste is a Verb, Not a Noun

What is “waste”? Based on which values do we classify something as waste? Do we think certain things are gross or dirty because they are dangerous? The journalist Rose George recently wrote that even though worms are harmless, we are disgusted by them because they remind us of parasites, which are dangerous. Or is the reaction of disgust all cultural, as some anthropologists would have it? The anthropologist Mary Douglas pointed out that context has a lot to do with how we view and classify objects. For example, full head of hair on a woman is considered beautiful, ...

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SOIL EcoSan Training April 1

[Li enfòmasyon sa a an kreyòl ayisyen.] SOIL conducts regular one-day workshops on SOIL’s use of ecological sanitation (EcoSan) technology in Haiti. This workshop includes an overview of SOIL’s programs, technologies used, lessons learned, and implementation suggestions. Read more about past training sessions here.   Workshop Information Date Wednesday, April 1, 2015 8:00 am - 4:00 pm Location Delmas 31, Port-au-Prince Language We hope to have sufficient interest to offer the workshop in both Haitian Creole and English. Please indicate your ...

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SOIL Fòmasyon 1 Avril

[Click here to read this information in English.] SOIL òganize tanzantan atelye pou montre SOIL sèvi ak teknoloji Sanitasyon Ekolojik (EkoSan) an Ayiti. Fòmasyon sa gen ladan yon rezime de pwogram yo nou, kom pa egzamp: teknoloji ke nou sèvi, leson nou te aprann nan developman teknoloji sa, e pwopozisyon pou amelyore koman teknoloji sa ka aplike pi byen.   Enfòmasyon Atelye Dat: Mekredi, 1 Avril 2015, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm Location: Delmas 31, Pòtopwens Lang: Nou espere nou gen ase patispan pou ofri atelye sa ni an angle, ni an kreyol. Nou ka indike na ...

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Katy the Carpenter Making it Happen

Katy Miliane laughed when I asked if her two-women toilet manufacturing cooperative had a name. “No,” she said, “this is just something that I do.” And she does it well, winning multiple construction bids from SOIL and producing over 80 ecological sanitation (EcoSan) ferrocement toilets in the past year. Last year, SOIL’s Cap-Haitien Technical Director Josaphat Augustin invited women from the nearby towns of Dubout and Limonade to participate in a two-week toilet construction training course. After the course, Katy and her partner Rosie were ready to start ...

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The little bacteria that could

I attended Reed College, the same alma mater of SOIL’s executive director and co-founder, Sasha Kramer. Reed students celebrate “Nitrogen Day” every year because it is arguably one of the coolest elements on the periodic table. One of the reasons why it’s a superstar element is that it’s essential to life: humans and other organisms need nitrogen to make amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, DNA, and RNA (pretty important stuff). And even though the air we breathe is mostly nitrogen (nitrogen gas makes up 78% of the atmosphere), our bodies can’t ...

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