An Interview with Entre Nous: A Big Problem in Haiti - the Environment
Haiti's environmental issues recently caught the attention of Entre Nous journalist Vladimir Laguerre, who sat down to speak with SOIL’s Senior Manager, Romel Toussaint and Sakala’s Co-founder, Daniel Tillias (and member of SOIL’s Board of Directors), to learn more about the work the two organizations are doing to address environmental and human rights issues in Haiti.
Both SOIL and Sakala have been working in Haiti for over a decade to promote human rights, environmental protection, and sustainable urban communities. SOIL’s household toilet and ecological sanitation model provides dignified and safely managed sanitation service to vulnerable urban communities in Cap-Haitien. Our eco-positive model transforms human waste into valuable compost that can be used for reforestation or agricultural projecs through the EkoLakay and Konpos Lakay programs. Romel, the Senior Manager of SOIL also noted that beyond providing access to an essential service, the eco-friendly toilets also provide clients with a sustainble choice: “there are people who already have flush toilets, but prefer to use EkoLakay toilets to be eco-responsible.”
Daniel Tilias, Director of Sakala and CNN Hero for 2019, has been working on the Jaden Tap-Tap Program (tire garden) in the informal settlement of Cité Soleil, in Port-au-Prince. Cité Soleil, is an particularly vulnerable community due to it’s location at the base of the hills of Port-au-Prince, where it is prone to flooding and waste runoff. It’s a community that has largely been neglected and stigmatized, but Sakala has been working there since 2004 to change that offering numerous programs for youth development. The Jaden Tap-Tap program, is one of those programs and educates the youth living in Cité Soleil to learn about agricultural methods, and grow food through community gardens to fight hunger in the area. In partnership, SOIL’s organic compost is used in growing food as part of the Jaden Tap-Tap program.
SOIL and Romel were so pleased to be a part of this conversation about the environment and the work that is being done in Haiti to promote sustainable and eco-positive development. Romel highlighted that in Haiti we have a responsibility to “preserve and protect the environment. Haitian citizens should be thoughtful of their daily wastes in relation to the environment we live in. It is important to increase people’s awareness on environmental issues and eco-friendly behaviors because it is not too late to take actions to make Haiti a cleaner, healthier, and greener place to be in.”
You can watch the full interview (in Creole) with Vladimire Laguerre and Entre Nous here: A Big Problem in Haiti: the Environment