Christmas Comes Early

Christmas came early this year for the Port-au-Prince compost team! We must have ended up on the “Nice” list for 2014, because we got just what we wanted – a new well at our waste treatment site!

This gift came courtesy of our friends at Food for the Poor, an organization that not only feeds hundreds of thousands of people each day in 17 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, but also provides housing, healthcare, education, and fresh water to help promote long-term development in those places.

SOIL’s team in North Haiti had known Food for the Poor for years from their work in Cap-Haitien, and we reconnected with them here in Port-au-Prince following the 2010 earthquake. They offered to dig SOIL a well at Pernier, SOIL’s waste treatment site at the time (and now the site of our experimental farm). Unfortunately, due to timing constraints on both organizations, we weren’t able to take them up on their generous offer.

141112 Twitye Water Prof FFTPFast forward to 2014: SOIL has since moved our waste treatment site to Truitier, inside the Port-au-Prince city dump. We’ve wanted a well at at Truitier since  opening the site – after all, disinfecting hundreds of poop buckets every week takes a lot of water, and trucking it in from our office is far from the most efficient or environmentally-friendly solution. We finally had secured official permission from all of the necessary entities to dig a well, so we reached out to Food for the Poor to see if they might be willing to let us take them up on their offer years later!

Thankfully, Food for the Poor was happy to help, and even more incredibly, just a few weeks later we have a beautiful new well! Now we have 24/7 access to water, and it’s freed up the Poopmobile from making extra trips back and forth just to ferry water.

The well is just the first of many improvements we’re making to help run our Port-au-Prince waste treatment site more efficiently and effectively. The work our team does to transform human waste into rich, agriculture-grade compost is already pretty amazing, but we’re excited to make the process even better. Stay tuned for more updates in 2015!

In the mean time, many thanks to Food for the Poor for their early Christmas gift to SOIL!

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