National Geographic: Nearly a Billion People Still Defecate Outdoors. Here’s Why.

  • SOIL's container-based toilets were intentionally designed to be resilient to droughts and flooding. Photo: National Geographic.

The latest issue of National Geographic magazine explores how open air defecation practices are becoming increasingly hazardous to public health in our rapidly urbanizing world. Traditional sanitation solutions are often infeasible and cost-prohibitive, though sustainable alternatives – such as EkoLakay’s composting toilet that SOIL is pioneering in Haiti – are responding to the crisis.

From National Geographic:National Geographic logo

“In [Cap-Haïtien] a worker from Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL), a nonprofit organization, delivers a new bucket and takes away one that’s full of waste from a family’s composting toilet. He’ll deliver the solid waste to a site in the nearby town of Limonade, where it will be safely composted and applied to fields that grow trees and food. After each use a handful of carbon-rich material – ground-up peanut shells or the pulpy residue of rum production—must be sprinkled inside to cover waste, suppress odors, and block flies. More than half of Haitians lack a safe and private place to defecate.”

Learn more by following this link to read the full National Geographic article, which features photos of SOIL’s work.

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