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 access to safe sanitation and traditional sewer systems, which exist throughout most of the U.S., are resource intensive. A piped installation in Buckland, Alaska, for example, is estimated to cost around $500,000 per household.

Might there be lessons that Alaska can learn from the sanitation solution SOIL is pioneering in Haiti? Gavin McNicol, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alaska, shares why he thinks the answer is “yes!” in this recent article for the Juneau Empire. Click here to read the piece and learn why.

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