Record EkoLakay Installations
Last week, SOIL’s EkoLakay team installed a record 31 toilets in a single day. The majority of the toilets were installed in Quartier Morin, a neighborhood located on the national road between SOIL’s waste treatment site and Cap-Haitien.
We left the office in the morning planning to install 20 toilets in Quartier Morin, but as the installation team worked its way around the neighborhoods with a baskil full of toilets and installation materials, we attracted quite a bit of attention!
“What is EkoLakay? How can I have one?” neighbors asked.
The EkoLakay team is an all-star group of salespeople and hygiene promoters, and it didn’t take them long to create a great rapport with all of the interested people. Before we had finished installing the third toilet, we already had 3 new households ready to sign contracts. Before we knew it, installation day had evolved into an informal marketing event, and we signed up an additional 10 families. The installation team was hustling! Everyone pitched in to transport the toilets, explain and sign contracts, do hygiene training for the households, and take GPS points of each new EkoLakay household.
We did the most unplanned installations in a small, dense cul-de-sac where the majority of the planned installations were located. As the installation team in their bright green EkoLakay gear trooped by, hands full of toilets and trashcans and hand soap, all the neighbors came out to see what this installation party was all about. There was a lot of chatting and joking and a “keeping up with the Joneses” atmosphere that resulted in even more EkoLakay toilets being installed.
It was a little unusual that so many people were ready to sign contracts and pay 200 HTG on-the-spot. There are some neighborhoods in Cap-Haitien where this impromptu installation wouldn’t be as effective a marketing activity because many households don’t have 200 HTG (about $4) readily available. Our unexpected success reflects the capacity of the EkoLakay team to respond to the unexpected, but it also suggests that Quartier Morin is a neighborhood where 1) the demand for sanitation is both urgent and valued, and 2) there’s both a willingness and ability to pay.
At SOIL we are continually developing our social business model. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on how this Quartier Morin toilet installation event is informing our model, and what else we have in store to increase sanitation coverage in surrounding neighborhoods.