Women in Sanitation: SOIL’s Nazulia Dejoie

We are continuing to celebrate this  Women’s History Month by sharing interviews with some of the incredible women staff we have working at SOIL. We are proud to be working at the forefront of providing dignified, formal livelihood opportunities to Haitian women in the sanitation sector. We celebrate these women this month and every month!

Recently we had the opportunity to speak with Nazulia Dejoie, a long-time member of SOIL’s Compost Site Staff and 2023 nominee of the TNUSSP Women in Sanitation, about her life and her job and what it’s like to be a woman working in sanitation.

Read the full conversation with Nazulia below:

Interviewer: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Nazulia: My name is Nazulia Dejoie. Before working at SOIL, life was difficult for me. I left school to become a street vendor when I was very young. I used to travel around the neighborhood with a wheelbarrow containing a variety of goods to sell so that I could make money to take care of my four children. My husband works in the Dominican Republic so that he can contribute to taking care of the children, too. 

Interviewer: What is your role at SOIL and what does a typical day look like? 

Nazulia: I am a waste treatment worker at the composting facility in Mouchinette. We treat human waste there and transform it into compost. I work from Monday to Friday and carry out a variety of tasks at the site, depending on what needs to get done. Some days I dump waste containers and then wash and sanitize them. I also move piles to windrows, water the piles and then, when the compost is ready, sieve, weigh and store it. 

Interviewer: How did you begin working at SOIL?

Nazulia: I had heard about the organization and so one day I decided to visit and see what it was about. I learned that they were recruiting workers and so applied for a job and they hired me as a casual worker. I worked for 2 years in that capacity before becoming an employee. 

Interviewer: What are your thoughts about the impact that sanitation services have on your community? 

Nazulia: The SOIL services help to stop diseases from spreading. When a family has a SOIL toilet they don’t need to use latrines or bags or the river when they have to relieve themselves. When people don’t use a toilet, people get sick because diseases can get into water used for drinking. With a SOIL toilet you don’t have to worry about that. 

Interviewer: Do you feel that working in sanitation is challenging or is any more challenging because you are a woman? 

Nazulia: There is no difference. Generally men have more physical strength than women but there is no work a man can do that a woman cannot do. 

Interviewer: Where do you hope to see Haiti in the next 10 years? 

Nazulia: I would like to see a new Haiti that has more job availability for people and provides lots of help and support for the children here. I would like Haiti to be a safe country where people can live together peacefully. 

Thank you to Nazulia and her incredible insight and dedication to SOIL’s work. We are so lucky to have her on our team. Join us in sharing your congratulations with Nazulia on her 2023 Women in Sanitation nomination!

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