SOIL Welcomes CDC to Offices in Cap-Haitien
Last month we were excited to welcome partners from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Haiti Country Office to the SOIL Sales Office in Cap-Haitien. CDC Program Director Dr. Delayo Zomahoun and Program Deputy Ken Chen met with SOIL’s Senior Sales Manager Beverly Pierre and EkoLakay Senior Manager Romel Toussaint to discuss SOIL’s business and sanitation model. The CDC Haiti team also had the opportunity to speak with several EkoLakay clients who shared testimonials about their experiences with SOIL’s service as a part of SOIL’s partnership with the agency.
SOIL’s partnership with the CDC Haiti began during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic with their contact to their partner - the Haiti Ministry of Public Health and Population (Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population or MSPP) - to provide support for MSPP’s efforts to help families in Cap-Haitien mitigate the spread of the virus. MSPP coordinated with SOIL and alongside CDC, agreed to work together to provide critical intervention for at-risk households. This collaboration effectively addressed the most urgent needs during the pandemic; to rapidly increase access to in-home toilets and clean water for as many people in Cap-Haitien as possible. ‘Staying home’ to limit exposure to the virus was a typical protective measure that much of the world was practicing in early 2020, however in places like urban Haiti, where many families do not have toilets in their homes, people still had to use public toilets or go to other external locations outside of their own home to take care of their sanitation and hygiene needs.
Utilizing MSPP/CDC existing agreements, SOIL was able to support household toilet and service expansion, handwashing activities, and provide a mobile public toilet for emergency response. In all, 500 new toilets were installed by the spring of 2021, which translated to increased access to household sanitation to approximately 3,000 people. The project was particularly impactful during an unprecedented time in the world and we were pleased to work with the MSPP and CDC Haiti to provide more families with improved sanitation and dignity as they no longer had to go outside or to public places to use the toilet.
SOIL is grateful to the CDC for being thoughtful and supportive partners who are interested and engaged with the work we are doing. They have helped coordinate and foster our impactful relationship with MSPP which continues to thrive today. Most importantly, the focused and effective collaboration of SOIL, the CDC, and MSPP during the COVID-19 pandemic lays the groundwork and offers a framework for future joint efforts for public health emergency response. SOIL hopes to find a way to grow our partnership with the CDC in the years to come!