Nurturing Another World

From SOIL’s October Newsletter.  To receive an update from our teams in Haiti in your inbox each month, please follow this link to sign up.

This past weekend, as many of you have likely heard, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck northwestern Haiti, displacing families and destroying buildings in the city of Port-de-Paix and the wider region. Though the destruction of the the tremor itself was lesser, this earthquake stirred the deeply traumatic memory of the January 12 earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince just eight years ago; that memory reverberated through the nation, binding us together in shared pain and remembrance. And while we are grateful that Haiti was spared that level of loss, we recognize that Haiti and other nations around the world are no less vulnerable to natural disaster than they were before any of the recent catastrophic natural disasters that have taken so many lives and damaged so many beautiful, vibrant communities and ecosystems. In the southwestern United States, Hurricane Michael is causing destruction and pain, coming right on the heels of Hurricane Florence and what feels like a never ending string of other storms. None of us are immune to the impacts of a changing climate.

At SOIL, we are relieved to share that our entire team is safe and accounted for, and that we are continuing to provide safe sanitation services to our clients throughout Haiti. We are proud to provide a climate-positive service that is designed not only to mitigate the impacts of climate change, but to build resilience to natural disasters into Haiti’s soils. The urgency and importance of this work is never clearer than in the wake of a natural disaster, and our team is determined to invest the time and resources to rigorously research the climate implications of our work, and to examine best practices to ensure we are creating as much positive impact as possible at every point in our service – from toilets to compost.

At the global level, we are encouraged to see the United Nations taking an active role in examining and reporting on the outlook for our climate. A recently released report acknowledges the truth that climate change most adversely impacts vulnerable populations, calling out the “protection gap” that leaves those who contribute the least carbon emissions most vulnerable to their negative impacts. Additionally, as the United Nations takes a stronger stance in advocating the need for immediate and urgent action to curtail carbon emissions, SOIL is hopeful that the global community can come together to implement actionable changes to our world’s energy practices.

The SOIL team was honored to be selected as one of the United Nations’ 2018 Momentum for Change Award recipients, given to activities underway across the globe that are moving the world toward a highly resilient, low-carbon future. Momentum for Change honors innovative and transformative solutions that address both climate change and wider economic, social and environmental challenges. Recognized as a Lighthouse Activity, SOIL’s work is honored for being a practical, scalable and replicable example of a groundbreaking intervention to tackle climate change.

As the devastating impacts of climate change continue to mount around us, especially in vulnerable frontline communities like the ones SOIL serves in Haiti, we’re more motivated than ever to grow SOIL’s climate positive sanitation solution, which transforms a public health crisis facing cities around the world into a restorative solution for the planet. Thank you for your support.

With love from Haiti,
The SOIL Team

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