Restoring Soils in our own Backyard

SOIL’s household sanitation service was designed with nature as our guide, and as such, as we expand the reach of EkoLakay in urban Haiti, we’re producing more of the compost that makes its way back to the soil to support critically needed restoration efforts. After centuries of deforestation and erosion, poverty, and intensive colonial agricultural practices, soils in Haiti have become dangerously degraded.

Before they can support the growth of bountiful harvests or reforestation initiatives, degraded soils need to be restored both with necessary nutrients and with organic matter (which is lacking in chemical fertilizers that are commonly used as soil amendments). That’s just what SOIL’s organic compost does, after it has been safely treated and transformed. By applying SOIL’s compost to depleted soil, it allows the soil to slowly regain its fertile characteristics and allows for landscape and ecosystem restoration.

Our compost, which is rich in the nutrients soils are hungry for as well as organic material, has a profound impact on farmers’ yields and on environmental regeneration and resilience efforts.

Though we are regularly conducting research on the impact of ecological sanitation to support the global field of study, we don’t always get to watch that soil transformation happen before our eyes after we sell a bag of Konpòs Lakay compost. This time, however, we have!

Last summer, SOIL moved offices from the Delmas neighborhood in Port-au-Prince out to our composting waste treatment facilities just outside of the capital city. After a few years of planting and restoring the backyard into a lush urban oasis in Delmas, the back SOIL’s former office was a strong testimony on the efficiency of Konpòs Lakay. Though it was sad to leave the garden and trees that we worked so hard to grow behind, when we moved the office to our compost site, we saw a new opportunity (and challenge!) ahead of us.

The land where our composting waste treatment site sits in Titayen is incredibly degraded, and the soil is exposed to strong winds and scorching sun each and every day. We know it’s a long road ahead of us to get plants to grow in these harsh conditions, but we’re committed to seeing what might be possible with a little water, attention, and of course, a lot of Konpòs Lakay! Someday, we hope that the trees will grow tall enough to provide shade to our office and other plantings on the site. For now, we’re just beginning but we’ll keep you posted as the garden grows.

To learn more about how SOIL’s composting waste treatment process helps nurture a more resilient environment, click here to read our recent climate research.

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