Latest Updates


SOIL Wins Lush Spring Prize for Regenerative Sanitation Solution

We’ve got big news. SOIL has won the 2018 Lush Spring Prize in recognition for the work we do in Haiti to build socially and environmentally regenerative solutions to the sanitation crisis. In 2006, SOIL was founded on a spark of inspiration - the idea that there is incredible power in some of the earth's most simple and fundamental processes, such the cycling and recycling of nutrients and elements like carbon and nitrogen; power that can be tapped to heal planet and people simultaneously. In the twelve years since that spark, SOIL has evolved into an enduring ...

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Racing Our Way to A Sustainable City-Wide Sanitation Service

SOIL's EkoLakay Team Races to Expand Access to Sanitation
Let’s call it the “fill your container challenge,” (which, let me assure you, is quite different from the ice bucket challenge. You would not want to dump these containers over your head). Over the past two months, 16 of SOIL's EkoLakay sales staff were competing as a part of two teams to see who could install the most toilets in Cap Haitien. Many of the staff who took part in the challenge were relatively new to the team and we wanted a fun way to train them in marketing and sales, while incentivizing new toilet installations. So, we devised the container ...

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Juneau Empire: How Human Waste Can Be Transformed into Resources

Research Fellows in Cap Haitien
Gavin McNicol, Junior Jules Francois and Denis Darline are photographed at SOIL Haiti’s composting site near Cap-Haïtien (Tucker Cahill Chambers) Around two million people, mostly women and children, die each year from diarrhea caused by preventable waterborne diseases. The majority of people lacking access to improved sanitation necessary to prevent these deaths live in rapidly growing informal settlements in the developing world, like the neighborhoods SOIL serves in Haiti. But disparities exist everywhere, including in rural Alaska where 18% of people don't have ...

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SOIL’s EkoLakay Service Mapped in New Water Atlas

SOIL in Guerilla Cartography’s Water Atlas
Hot off the press is Guerilla Cartography’s Water Atlas, their latest project featuring volunteer submissions of maps on all things water, including one titled “Reducing Water Pollution with a Poop Solution” – a map on SOIL’s EkoLakay household sanitation service! Monika Roy, SOIL’s former Project Coordinator, spearheaded this project back in 2015 when Guerilla Cartography started soliciting map submissions for the atlas. At the time, SOIL had just begun to incorporate more GPS data into our collection service to determine the best locations for storage ...

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Building a Depot to Streamline SOIL’s Operations in Northern Haiti

A photo of EkoLakay's current depot by Monica Wise On any given morning, SOIL’s current depot in Cap Haitien is abuzz with EkoLakay collection vehicles coming in and out from the communities we serve, staff briefing one another on the activities of the coming day, and buckets of bonzodè (the carbon cover material used to “flush” EkoLakay composting toilets) being stacked along the walls in preparation to be delivered to families’ homes. This depot serves as a hub between SOIL’s primary office, staff in the field, and our composting site out of the city. Ex...

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Ozy: Why Cities are Starting to Shun Sewers

Testing Compost in Cap Haitien, Haiti
Photo: Vic Hinterlang It's time to think outside the sewer, writes Alia Dharssi for Ozy in a new article on how sanitation practitioners like SOIL are leading the way for a global sanitation revolution. "Globally, more than 1 billion people live in slums with inadequate or no toilets. That condition is spawning a health crisis, with research linking poor sanitation to the transmission of diseases like cholera, malnutrition and intestinal worms. Less than 10 percent of wastewater is treated in some countries such as Lebanon and Cambodia, according to a 2017 United ...

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Building a Safe Workplace for all SOIL Staff

Since it was first published in 2015, SOIL's Human Resources Manual has served to guide, unite, protect, and inform SOIL’s staff. The manual, written in Haitian Kreyòl, contains 24 pages with topics ranging from vacation time to salaries, confidentiality, performance evaluation, conflict resolution, and so on. Even though each employee goes over the entirety of the manual with their supervisors, SOIL felt it was worth investing the time in providing even further clarification and training on one subject: workplace harassment. After spending almost a year looking for ...

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ReSource Award Supports the Growth of SOIL’s Business Model

Photo: AJ+ We’re on our way to creating an affordable and replicable model for the provision of a safe, ecologically beneficial city-wide sanitation, and we’ve got news to share! In September 2017 we excitedly announced that SOIL was selected as a Finalist for the ReSource Award. This prize acknowledges social entrepreneurial initiatives aimed at scaling up new approaches for solving social or ecological issues related to sustainable water management. We’re still under consideration for the final award (keep your fingers crossed for us!) but in the meanwhile, ...

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How SOIL is Engaging Stakeholders to Build Resilient Sanitation Systems

Here at SOIL we believe that part of why we have had the successes that we have in a country where too many projects struggle to deliver is, in part, due to our commitment to intentional collaboration. SOIL is committed to working alongside global experts, local communities, and national stakeholders to develop solutions to one of the world’s most challenging crises. Whether it’s through the Container-Based Sanitation Alliance, or with Haitian government, we know that pooling expertise to coordinate efforts, improve implementation, and support knowledge-sharing is ...

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Monitoring Meteorology in One of the World’s Most Climate-Vulnerable Nations

Rain at SOIL's Office in Northern Haiti
Photo: Gavin McNicol A little over a year ago SOIL collaborated with scientists Rebecca Ryals (University of California, Merced) and Gavin McNicol (University of Alaska Southeast) to install a weather station at our composting facility near the northern city of Cap-Haïtien. Why a Weather Station? First, we wanted to see if local weather conditions influence the amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted during the composting process, which has been the primary focus of Becca and Gavin’s research with SOIL. We also wanted to start building a climate record for ...

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