78 results for tag: ecological sanitation


SOIL Visit to EAA, Ouagadougou

This is one story from a multi-part series on SOIL's adventures in Africa. After a successful morning with the women of Dunkassa, Sasha, Bobo and I, accompanied by our ADESCA colleagues Zachary and Guninen, embarked on a road trip to Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. The purpose of our trip was to visit the African water and sanitation organization EAA / WSA (Eau et Assainisement pour Africa / Water and Sanitation for Africa), formerly known as CREPA. Sasha had first heard of the work of CREPA in 2005 whilst at an EcoSan conference in Durban, South Africa, and SOIL had long benefitted from their research and from their online publications. ...

SOIL in Africa Part 2: Into the Toilet

This is one story from a multi-part series on SOIL's adventures in Africa. Today we had one of the highlights of our professional careers, or at least it was one of my finest hours.  In an attempt to demonstrate the possibility of converting human waste into compost the SOIL team, together with our hosts ADESCA, paid a visit to the local primary school.  But this was not your usual school visit.  We were looking for proof that human wastes can be transformed into soil, and what better place to find that proof than deep in the ground in an old latrine.  Because the conversion of poop to soil can take at least a year, and we are only here in Benin ...

Experiments in Composting: Po Pistach!

We are REALLY excited up here at the Cap-Haitien office about our new cover material: ground peanut shells! We have been using bagasse (a byproduct of sugarcane production) for years, which has been doing the job, but perhaps not breaking down as fast as we would like. It’s important for us to have a carbon material that works well with feces to break down into compost in a timely manner, as now we are processing so many people’s “waste”. Because sugarcane production is a large portion of the Haitian agronomy sector, it’s been easy for us to obtain as much bagasse as we want. However, we have recently become good friends with Meds for Kids, ...

SOIL has its sixth, last and most fruitful EcoSan Training of 2011!

On Thursday, November 10th, twenty-four enthusiastic individuals representing local, national and international organizations came together in Port-au-Prince to learn ecological sanitation principles and best practices in a day-long training lead by SOIL staff. This year SOIL began a series of training sessions to introduce other NGOs and individuals to ecological sanitation technology whereby human waste is collected and composted for use in agriculture and reforestation efforts across Haiti. The response was overwhelming with nearly every session at or above capacity. SOIL’s commitment to the people of Haiti is decidedly inclusive and we are proud ...

Notre Dame Student Finds That SOIL Compost is Pathogen Free

John Strutner from the University of Notre Dame recently traveled  from Indiana to Haiti in order to collect samples of SOIL’s compost and test it for fecal pathogens.  SOIL assiduously follows international public health standards for the composting of human waste as it converts over 5,000 gallons of poo per week into nutrient rich fertilizer. Now thanks to John’s study, we have evidence that  SOIL’s efforts are paying off.  John found that pathogenic material present in the human waste that SOIL freshly collected from ecological sanitation toilets around Haiti was no longer present after going through the composting process. As John ...

AOL News: Sanitation Efforts Target Sea of Sewage in Haiti

By Emily Troutman, AOL News, August 24, 2010 Amy Ross navigates the filthy, feces-strewn backstreets here in flip-flops and a miniskirt, bobbing along quite happily, giving the distinct impression that she's either been in this city too long or not long enough. Ross is a program manager for Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods, or SOIL, a Haiti-based organization that specializes in toilets, or what the humanitarian community euphemistically refers to as "sanitation." Ross' good humor makes her an ideal candidate for this job, in which she is routinely talking about, or surrounded by ... waste. On this day, Ross is on her way to a ...

Update to Our Supporters

Dear friends, Tomorrow marks 6 months since the devastating earthquake. I wanted to take this evening to reflect on the past 6 months and to share with you some of our activities and challenges. It has been months since my last letter and I apologize for the lack of communication.  Since my last update in March our team has been working 50-60 hours per week on sanitation projects in both Port au Prince and Cap Haitien and it has been hard to find space for reflection and communication. It is late Sunday night and the moon is shining down on the capital, reflecting on the storm washed streets and plastic tarps as the city sleeps, reminding me of how ...

Breaking the Cycle of Disease by Closing the Nutrient Cycle: SOIL and the Sanitation Crisis in Port-au-Prince

Dear friends, I am sorry that I have been out of touch for the past several weeks.  Every day is like a lifetime and at the end we just collapse into bed after a cold shower, and in the morning we sit up and look out at the camp spread before us and the whirlwind begins again.  But most of us have managed to hold on to our sanity, tethering our minds to our work.  As the weeks go by the city begins to look more familiar, the shattered buildings have become a part of my mindscape and there are moments when I barely notice them.  People wind through the traffic jams and the streets are lined with vendors, people who have left the camps during the ...