Latest Updates


EkoLakay reaches the 1000th Toilet Milestone!

Today is a day of celebration for SOIL - we just installed our 1,000th EkoLakay household toilet! EkoLakay would not exist without our clients, who pay for the service every month and in doing so, prove that ecological sanitation is a working alternative to other sanitation options like flush toilets or pit latrines. We want to thank each and every one of them. We are also so thankful for all of our friends and supporters, whose contributions subsidize the waste treatment component of the EkoLakay program. Our 1,000th client's name is Jean Nelson Arnoux. He li...

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Breaking Down All the Costs

As SOIL works to expand and continually improve our household toilet service, EkoLakay, we are constantly evaluating and reassessing our costs. To do this successfully, we need to have a detailed breakdown of what our costs are –how much we’re spending, what we’re spending money on, and what each facet of our program costs. Last year I started researching and analyzing EkoLakay service costs at the household level, meaning breaking down our cost analysis further to examine how much each piece of the program costs per household. We believed that by breaking down the ...

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New Beginnings: SOIL’s New Compost Site in Port-au-Prince

Regular readers of SOIL's blog may remember that we committed to transforming our composting site at the municipal waste dump in Truitier into a green oasis. Just over one year after starting operations in Truitier, we had made significant progress on this transformation and updated all of you with the blog:  Transforming Truitier. Since then, the trees have continued to grow and hundreds of butterflies have taken up residence in the site, creating a beautiful oasis within the municipal dump site. Scenes from SOIL's green compost side in the Port-au-Prince city ...

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Sunscreen or Rubber Boots? SOIL Has a Weather Station!

Last month we started collecting meteorological data at our composting site in northern Haiti. Currently, very few weather records are available in Haiti, and only a handful of stations publicly share the data they collect. With help from Becca Ryals and Gavin McNicol, our research partners from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, we built a brand new weather station at our northern compost site that offers a new, publicly-available source of continuous, local weather information! In fact, we set up the weather station just days after a tropical storm dumped ...

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World Toilet Day: Working Together for Sanitation Coverage

Every year SOIL is thrilled to celebrate one of our favorite holidays, World Toilet Day, as a chance to share the importance of sanitation, and the urgency of fighting to ensure safe sanitation access across the globe. This year, we spent the day engaging with people in Pister, a community in northern Haiti during a World Toilet Day event. In particular, we dug into one question: What do toilets have to do with jobs? SOIL's Deputy Regional Director Emmanuel Antoine connected the dots, saying: "The workplace in Haiti is a place that too often neglects the question of ...

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SOIL Enters the Cloud

Over the past few months you may have heard that SOIL is going mobile. We have been so excited to implement a new system for managing customer data - this is a huge step for SOIL in refining our EkoLakay household toilet service and ensuring we are able to significantly increase the number of customers we serve without compromising the quality of our service. SOIL’s Systems Director, Erica Lloyd, is the mastermind hard at work behind the scenes designing and implementing our new data system using TaroWorks, an Android mobile app, and Salesforce, a business database, ...

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Hurricane Matthew: Lessons Learned

On October 1st, Hurricane Matthew turned just a few degrees to the east putting the southern peninsula of Haiti directly in its path. Three days later, 142 mph winds ripped over small mountain villages and coastal cities damaging or destroying nearly 150,000 homes and more than 80% of regional crops and livestock. Communities were inundated with rains, flooding latrines and septic tanks. Less than two months later, just as Haiti disappears from the headlines, the true effects of Hurricane Matthew are starting to hit. More than 3,500 suspected cases of cholera, a disease ...

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Celebrating World Handwashing Day

SOIL has a history of participating in international days of recognition such as World Hand Washing Day (October 15) and World Toilet Day (November 19). Many of you have joined us in sharing your #Unselfies telling what sanitation means to you. And while these holidays come around every year, the celebration is unique each time. This year, Hand Washing Day came in the wake of Hurricane Matthew as cholera cases started to spike up yet again. Most people know that the simple habit of hand washing can prevent waterborne diseases like cholera, but it can be easy to forget ...

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Guest Post: The EcoSan Frontier

The following guest post is by Tucker Cahill Chambers, who took the above photo of SOIL's waste treatment site in northern Haiti, where Tucker spent time with SOIL last week. Here is what Tucker has to say about the experience: I first encountered ecological sanitation in a little town in the south of France, where I lived on a ecological family farm for a year. An off-the-grid cattle and mule farm atop a windswept and water-scarce plateau, the family made every effort to consume conscientiously and close resource loops wherever possible. Naturally, we used dry toilets ...

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Severe Flooding Devastates Cap-Haitien

When the news of the approaching Hurricane Matthew started to circulate in Haiti in early October, residents of the northern city of Cap-Haitien hurriedly prepared for the worst. They were largely spared, unlike the cities in the Southwest which are still experiencing widespread devastation as a result. Tragically, while everyone’s attention was fixed on the suffering in the South, Cap-Haitien received the rain they had been expecting a month earlier.  Starting on Friday, November 4th, Cap-Haitien was battered under torrential rains. Over 15 inches of rain fell from 5 ...

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