November 2012 Newsletter: 10,000 Trees for Haiti
Dear friends and supporters,
We would like to start by thanking those of you who contributed to SOIL over the past month. We had a record breaking number of individuals who responded to our calls for support and as a result our toilets remained open and all of our hardworking staff have been paid. We will still need your ongoing support in the future, but your generous donations have allowed us a little breathing room to get down to the real business of providing dignified and sustainable sanitation.
Our work was put to the test this last week as devastating flooding in Cap-Haitien washed through the community of Shada where we have been working for six years. Many homes were inundated and people lost precious possessions. But more concerning than the material loss, is the threat of waterborne disease that follows a storm of this nature. When the flood waters washed through Cap-Haitien they picked up sewage from flooding latrines, diverting it into the lower lying neighborhoods. SOIL toilet managers in Shada worked overtime throughout the storm to make sure that our toilets remained open and that all of the waste coming from them was safely contained in waterproof drums. Today we will be removing over 1,000 gallons of human waste from Shada and sending it to our compost site to be transformed from a dangerous health risk into clean fertile soil. We are so grateful for all of your support in making this possible.
We’re also excited that this soil will become part of a longer-term sustainable solution to reduce flooding in Haiti as we’re working with an organization called Trees, Water & People to plant 10,000 trees for Haiti using the compost that we produced from the public toilets in Shada. When the rains started falling last week, a combination of inadequate drainage and deforested hillsides meant the city of Cap-Haitien flooded within hours. Reforestation needs to happen now and on a wide scale in order to prevent disasters like this from happening again. Learn more about the 10,000 Trees for Haiti project in this beautiful video.
As the Christmas season draws near we also wanted to take the chance to offer you a gorgeous SOIL calendar, for yourself or a friend. Our calendar this year features photos of our SOIL staff and beneficiaries. This is a chance to get to know some of the hardworking SOIL family and to have a visual reminder of the inspiring work that you have helped to make possible. So as not to waste resources, we would like to have a sense of how many people would like calendars before ordering so we ask that if you would like to order a calendar please contact us at [email protected] and we will get you down on the list. We are also looking for people who might like to help us spread the word by buying a pack of 10 calendars that you can either resell or share with friends and family.
More Stories of SOIL Adventures Throughout the Month:
- We’re so proud to announce that we have officially launched the Household Toilet Project in Shada, Cap-Haitien. Toilet construction is running at full capacty and residents are starting to bring their toilets home.
- SOIL Port-au-Prince led the first EcoSan training of the fall for a packed room of composting toilet enthusiasts from around Haiti and the world (France, Ireland and Burkina Faso to be specific).
- Newest addition to the SOIL family? Office chickens!
- A huge thank you to Ride for World Health! These public health activists bicycled from San Diego to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness and support for SOIL!
- We’ve created a new Theo Talks video series to help keep our friends around the world updated on our “Adventures in EcoSan”. These videos, featuring SOIL’s charismatic and brilliant Regional Director in Cap-Haitien, Theo Huitema and his Flip Cam. Check out the latest Theo Talk on “Sexing the Fish“.
- Can you help us think of a name for the SOIL tree nursery and farm in Cap-Haitien? If you come up with the winning name, you’ll receive a beautiful 2013 SOIL calendar!
- Speaking of calendars, don’t forget to email us with your pre-order.
- Help us plant 10,000 Trees for Haiti! Watch the video and learn more at https://www.oursoil.org/10000-trees-for-haiti/. Please help us share this widely!
- Your donation to the 10,000 Trees for Haiti campaign will be matched dollar for dollar through the end of the year so just a small contribution will go a long way in helping us reach our goal of making the mountainsides green with fruit trees again.
With love from Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien,
Sasha, Theo, Bobo, Nick, Romel, Monika, Madame Bwa, Chantal, Jean-Marie, Leah, Erinold and everyone at SOIL Haiti