Over three years after the earthquake, thousands of people still living in camps lack access to safe sanitation facilities. SOIL's Emergency Sanitation program provides them with safe, clean no-flush toilets and collects the waste for composting. The program tackles the immense public health challenge posed by lack of sanitation while simultaneously providing another enormous benefit: rich, organic compost critical for restoring the health of Haiti's farms and forests.
The 2010 earthquake compounded an already dire sanitation situation in Haiti, where less than 10% of the population has access to safe toilets. The scarcity of safe toilets is one of the key reasons that the accidental introduction of cholera after the earthquake has resulted in an on-going epidemic that has killed over 8,300 people and sickened more than 650,000. For thousands of people still trapped in over-crowded tent camps, toilets can make the difference between life and death.
Since the earthquake, SOIL has maintained over 100 emergency toilets in Port-au-Prince-area camps, as well as Shada, an area in Northern Haiti particularly hard-hit by cholera. SOIL services the toilets twice a week and provides a paid "Toilet Manager" to ensure that they remain clean and in working order. SOIL provides safe sanitation services to people with no alternatives, helping them to stay healthy, while also generating a valuable resource: over 3,000 of gallons of rich compost a week!
Emergency sanitation for 3,500 people is only one part of our work. SOIL has been working since 2006 in some of Haiti's poorest areas to facilitate the spread of ecological sanitation, which turns human wastes into rich compost. EcoSan transforms an enormous threat to public health into a a critical resource for Haiti's infertile and deforested environment. SOIL will continue to work towards the day when 100% of Haitians will have access to safe sanitation.