SOILHaiti 18 April 2024

SOIL Expands its EkoLakay Operations into Karakòl

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SOIL Toilets
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Photo credit: Cartier Philanthropy / Andrea Borgarello

 

Sanitation is SOIL’s business and our passion, and we understand that the provision of immediate sanitation access is all the more critical at this moment in Haiti’s history, given the ongoing and complex humanitarian crisis that continues to unfold. Despite unremitting challenges, the SOIL team has continued its vital work in Cap-Haitien, ensuring that our sanitation service remains uninterrupted for our current EkoLakay customers. We have also been working to significantly grow the service over the past several months, despite consistent challenges. We are proud to say that we currently have 2,843 EkoLakay toilets installed, servicing over 17,000 Haitians – an increase of more than 300 households  since the beginning of this year. 

As part of our Results-Based Financing initiative, the SOIL sales team recently  launched our EkoLakay expansion efforts into Karakòl, a commune in the Trou-du-Nord Arrondissement in the Nord-Est department,  just east of Cap-Haitien where SOIL has not previously had an operational presence. The results have been impressive and encouraging – the team has installed a record 158 toilets since the beginning of March – providing 950 individuals who previously didn’t have access to a toilet with access to improved sanitation. Utilizing findings from our baseline surveys the team prioritized the most vulnerable households in high-risk flood zones, and was met with a lot of interest and a high demand for toilets. In the coming weeks, they will continue to focus their expansion efforts with additional targeted marketing and sales pushes in the neighborhood.

It is impossible to overstate the effect that the protracted political instability, increasing food insecurity, and endemic violence is having on the lives and minds of  Haitian citizens. Imagine not knowing where your child’s next meal is coming from. Imagine being surrounded by worry and dread, confined to a system of inadequate health care and educational opportunities, inaccessible infrastructure, systematic violations of human rights, and severe energy shortages. And then imagine that daily life without a toilet. 

The shame and vulnerability that comes with the lack of a dignified sanitation option is never eased or truly normalized. Access to sanitation is not only intricately tied to human dignity, but is also recognized by the United Nations as a human right. Today and everyday SOIL is proud to be doing essential work that promotes human dignity. Continuing on each day, particularly during this exceptionally complex and arduous moment in time, is a testament to the ingenuity and skill of our dedicated staff and the steadfastness of our local and global partners, and is an expression of profound hope.

To remain hopeful in bad times is motivated by the reality that human history is not only a history of despair, but also one of compassion, courage, kindness and love. It is this kind of hope that gives us the energy to move towards a greater, more unified good, even in the simplest of ways, with the understanding that it's the aggregate of all those small acts of kindness, of magnanimity combined with the tenacity to persist, that can change the world. 

We will continue working to spread hope, health and dignity, one toilet installation, one individual and one household at a time. Please continue to hold Haiti in your hearts.

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