Sep 13, 2021

Human Waste for Sustainable Futures

Transformation has always been one of our core values – transformation of wastes into resources, of disempowered people into community advocates, of exploited landscapes into lush, productive gardens. We are a population of over seven billion people, living in a world with increasingly scarce resources. Yet, we at SOIL know that there is one resource – often overlooked – that is perpetually available: human waste. For us, human waste isn’t waste at all; it’s sustainability, it’s nutrients, its ecological power. We’ve been demonstrating the immense potential of human waste since 2006 and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!

For centuries, people have been using human waste as a precious commodity for soil fertilization around the world. In fact, night soil, the term given to the human waste product, has had entire economies built around it as a means for sustainable agriculture production from Asia to the Amazon. Human waste is not only extremely accessible and in abundance, it also harnesses immense potential for nutrient recycling. According to Borgen Magazine, on average, humans produce about 640 billion pounds (240 billion kilograms) of fecal matter and approximately 3.5 billion gallons (1.98 billion liters) of urine a year. This excrement contains valuable nutrients, and when safely treated, can be transformed into fuel, fertilizer and so much more. Waste-to-resource models, like SOIL’s, are becoming widely accepted in order to recycle local nutrients and utilize sustainable, ecologically-based models.

In Haiti, the SOIL team has spent more than a decade creating an ecologically responsible approach to sustainable sanitation using a waste-to-resource model for urban communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, natural disasters, and groundwater contamination. Our compost end product, 150 tons of which has been generated over this past year, will go on to increase local food production, support reforestation, sequester carbon, nurture soil stability, and support local climate resilience efforts. We’re working to transform world views around human waste and we’re proud to advocate for all of the other incredible transformative projects around the world!

Aug 3, 2021

SOIL's Public Toilets Provide Sanitation in Cap-Haitien Market

In addition to SOIL’s household sanitation service, over this past year – in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – we’ve partnered with local authorities to provide safe sanitation access to public areas around Cap-Haitien, including public toilets at the very busy central market.  Responding to the pandemic in communities with low-resources is complex, particularly when it comes to shared public facilities. However, it is evident that not having access to any sanitation option can be more harmful for spreading infectious disease and potentially contaminating scarce water resources. SOIL is proud to provide access to safe and dignified sanitation to mitigate public health crises during these uncertain times. Our public toilets are carefully managed with on-site staff that ensure that toilets are cleaned and sanitized and that users have access to hand-washing stations.

According to Louis, one of SOIL’s public toilet managers, “customers are happy to have toilets in the market and they give lots of positive comments about the quality of the service.” SOIL recently conducted interviews of market-goers to gather feedback so that we can better meet the needs of communities we serve.

SOIL’s Executive Associate, Carine, sat down with Pierre, a public toilet customer and merchant, who offered great feedback. Check out the interview below!

Carine: How did you hear about SOIL?/Did you know about SOIL’s in-home toilets?

Pierre: I heard about SOIL from other merchants and the news of the installations of the in-home toilets is spreading by word of mouth.

Carine: What do you think about the public toilets?

Pierre: Having public toilets is essential for the market. They are different from the type of toilets I am familiar with, but they are clean and don’t smell, just like flush toilets.

Carine: What is the impact that you see EkoLakay is having in the market and in the city itself?

Pierre: I used to take a taxi to go home when I needed to go to the restroom during the day, or I would go to a friend’s house in the area if it was more urgent. Now I can use the EkoLakay toilet as much as I need during the day. EkoLakay allows people who live further away and who don’t have other options to defecate properly so not to harm the environment.

Carine: Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

Pierre: If SOIL could add more toilets, it would be beneficial so that people don’t stay away from their business for too long while queuing to use the toilets.

While we continue to grow our household sanitation service, we recognize that it is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and providing urban sanitation coverage requires innovation and complimentary safe sanitation options. SOIL is proud to be making strides towards providing much-needed safe and dignified sanitation services in urban Haiti and we will continue to work to fulfill our commitment to the communities we serve; one toilet at a time.  

Jul 28, 2021

Expanding Access to Sanitation with SOIL's Public Toilets

SOIL's public toilets in Cap-Haitien market
SOIL's public toilets in Cap-Haitien market

In addition to SOIL’s household sanitation service, over this past year – in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – we’ve partnered with local authorities to provide safe sanitation access to public areas around Cap-Haitien, including public toilets at the very busy central market.  Responding to the pandemic in communities with low-resources is complex, particularly when it comes to shared public facilities. However, it is evident that not having access to any sanitation option can be more harmful for spreading infectious disease and potentially contaminating scarce water resources. SOIL is proud to provide access to safe and dignified sanitation to mitigate public health crises during these uncertain times. Our public toilets are carefully managed with on-site staff that ensure that toilets are cleaned and sanitized and that users have access to hand-washing stations.

According to Louis, one of SOIL’s public toilet managers, “customers are happy to have toilets in the market and they give lots of positive comments about the quality of the service.” SOIL recently conducted interviews of market-goers to gather feedback so that we can better meet the needs of communities we serve.

SOIL’s Executive Associate, Carine, sat down with Pierre, a public toilet customer and merchant, who offered great feedback. Check out the interview below!

Carine: How did you hear about SOIL?/Did you know about SOIL’s in-home toilets?

Pierre: I heard about SOIL from other merchants and the news of the installations of the in-home toilets is spreading by word of mouth.

Carine: What do you think about the public toilets?

Pierre: Having public toilets is essential for the market. They are different from the type of toilets I am familiar with, but they are clean and don’t smell, just like flush toilets.

Carine: What is the impact that you see EkoLakay (SOIL's toilet) is having in the market and in the city itself?

Pierre: I used to take a taxi to go home when I needed to go to the restroom during the day, or I would go to a friend’s house in the area if it was more urgent. Now I can use the EkoLakay toilet as much as I need during the day. EkoLakay allows people who live further away and who don’t have other options to defecate properly so not to harm the environment.

Carine: Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

Pierre: If SOIL could add more toilets, it would be beneficial so that people don’t stay away from their business for too long while queuing to use the toilets.

While we continue to grow our household sanitation service, we recognize that it is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and providing urban sanitation coverage requires innovation and complimentary safe sanitation options. SOIL is proud to be making strides towards providing much-needed safe and dignified sanitation services in urban Haiti and we will continue to work to fulfill our commitment to the communities we serve; one toilet at a time.  

 
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