EcoSan at Carnival

In the last weeks of winter, parades, glitter, masks, Rara bands, and dancing in the streets abound in Haiti. The weeks preceding the Christian season of Lent (which is frequently observed as a season of abstinence and discipline) feature ebullient Carnaval celebrations around the country. Each year Cap-Haitien hosts a Carnaval Des Etudiants, or “Student Carnival,” on the Thursday and Friday before the grand National Carnival, which culminates on Mardi Gras Tuesday. Young children participate in Thursday’s celebrations, while the Friday parade is populated with local teens.

This year, SOIL made a splash in the Friday celebrations by partnering with a local theater group called “Djabolo.” This group of dynamic, passionate, and talented youth has a  history of collaborating with SOIL to produce creative EcoSan presentations. The Djabolo theater troupe originates from the neighborhood of Shada II, a place where sanitation concerns hit close to home. Shada II, a densely populated and largely impoverished neighborhood, has suffered a disproportionate number of cholera cases in recent years. In addition to the sanitation awareness campaigns that Djabolo participates in with SOIL, Djabolo members use their talents to empower and educate their community about public health.

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The Djabolo theatre group promotes SOIL products – a bag of SOIL’s EcoSan compost, Konpòs Lakay, a SOIL toilet, and delicious produce grown with the help of SOIL compost – at the Cap-Haitien Carnaval Des Etudiants.

For this year’s Carnaval Des Etudiants, the members of Djabolo dressed up in red and blue costumes, donned face-paint and glitter, and took to the streets with baskets of fresh produce, samples of SOIL compost, and a model EcoSan toilet. The theater troupe used song, dance, and lively skits to model and promote safe sanitation and hygiene practices, healthy eating, and the composting process. The crowd of onlookers responded to the youths’ infectious energy, and Djabolo was able to recruit some participants for improvised role-playing with the demo EcoSan toilet! Theater provides a fun and powerful platform for engaging the public with the principles of sanitation, and SOIL is looking forward to continuing collaborations with the Djabolo troupe in the future. Together, we hope to illustrate the use of EcoSan toilets, to emphasize the importance of safe hygiene practices, and to celebrate the communities who embrace sustainable waste management!

5 Replies to "EcoSan at Carnival"

  • Gracy Belle Broussard
    November 4, 2017 (4:02 pm)

    is there a distributor of EcoSan in the U>S>
    I read about you in the RSF newsletter. Good work.

    I work at an off the grid retreat center in New Mexico. We want some composting toilet set ups that
    can e used for groups. We are also doing a permaculture course next summer and would live to include
    info about what you are doing with soil.

    • Natalie Miller
      December 4, 2017 (9:40 pm)

      Hi Gracy, Welcome to the SOIL blog! Thank you for your kind words and interest in the work that we’re doing in Haiti. We’ll be in touch via email shortly!

  • Brooks Nanna
    January 1, 2018 (10:58 pm)


    I am a member of a mission team visiting Ile De la Gonave at the end of January. We are evaluating composting toilets for a school in Source a Phillipe. They are currently without toilets or wash stations. I saw the eco sans toilets online this evening and wondered if you have a source for these in Haiti and if you can estimate what one costs. Given no public water or sewer , composting toilets seem like the way to go in this village. I look forward to hearing back from your group

    • SOIL Haiti
      January 3, 2018 (5:20 pm)

      Hi Brooks,

      We’re currently operating EkoLakay’s sanitation service in zones across Haiti’s two largest cities, Cap-Haitien and Port-au-Prince, and are laser focused on increasing density in those neighborhoods and reducing our operating costs before we’re able to expand into new parts of the country. SOIL builds our household composting toilets at our offices using locally sourced products and families using EkoLakay toilets pay a small monthly fee for the service which covers the cost of the toilet. If you’re interested, check out this recent story on our blog to learn more about our work to scale up our work!

      We’re committed to sharing resources and lessons learned with sanitation practitioners across Haiti and the world – if you’d like to download SOIL’s Guide To EcoSan, please visit this page, and feel free to send us an email at [email protected] if you’d like any more information of have further questions about ecological sanitation solutions.

      Happy New Years and safe travels!

  • Turyamureeba Sam
    January 27, 2018 (3:25 pm)

    I have observed that ECOSAN toilet waste is a good soil fertilizer and increases productivity.With proper and appropriate diluions and mixture with screened wood ash and red pepper can be used as a pest and disease control in beans, passion fruits,pumpkins.

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