SOIL Celebrates World Environment Day
Yesterday, June 5th, was World Environment Day, and SOIL joined with groups around Haiti in celebrating positive environmental action.
In Port-au-Prince, activities focused on bringing the benefits of SOIL’s EcoSan compost back to the EcoSan toilet users. SOIL’s sanitation services are subsidized by the sale of EcoSan compost to other organizations and businesses, agricultural supply stores, and farmers. But we also think it’s important for the users of SOIL toilets to have a chance to benefit from the compost that they help us to produce! In line with this goal, SOIL staff in Port-au-Prince planted trees and basil grown in SOIL compost at the homes of people renting our household toilets.
SOIL agronomists also harvested spinach and plantains from the SOIL farm and demonstration gardens in Pernier and then sold it at discounted prices to our public toilet managers in the emergency camps.
In Cap-Haitien on Tuesday, SOIL staff held the first of a series of environmental working group meetings in Limonade with 18 people in attendance from a diverse cross-section of the population (including students, teachers, local government officials, economists, agronomists, administrators, engineers, and trainers). The working group got off to a great start with a lively discussion on how we want to structure these meetings, what we want to work on, and most importantly: how we view the environment, where the problems arise, and how we can work towards a healthier environment.Then on World Environment Day itself, SOIL Cap-Haitien led a tour for a group of local dignitaries including the mayor, government officials, non-profit employees, and journalists. After a brief introduction at the SOIL office, the tour group visited SOIL’s public and household toilets in Shada, planted a tree next to the river in Shada, admired SOIL’s communal toilets in Fugerolle, and then stopped by the compost site for a sandwich and an explanation of how the compost is made.
It was a busy, fun day in both offices and we were delighted to have so many people join us in celebrating our favorite thing – the environment!