Lifesaving Sanitation Access
If you’re one of the 3.3 million people living in urban Haiti who does not have a toilet, you have very few options available to you. Haitian cities, like many rapidly growing urban areas globally, have no sewer system. Pit latrines are expensive to construct and susceptible to flooding. Flush toilets are even more expensive in that they require a steady supply of running water and a costly septic tank. Also, neither of these options includes waste treatment. Given this context, it’s not a surprise that Haiti recently battled one of the largest cholera epidemics in modern global history and continues to deal with the ongoing public health threat today.
on SOIL's EkoLakay service
provided with in-home sanitation
of SOIL's public toilets each year
for SOIL's growing EkoMobil rentals this year
To address the urgent need for safe, dignified and improved sanitation options in urban Haiti, SOIL has pioneered an innovative household sanitation service, EkoLakay, in some of the most impoverished urban communities in Haiti. The EkoLakay service provides households with a container-based toilet and weekly waste collection service. Many of our clients have never had access to an in-home toilet before joining.
Container-based toilets offer a safe and dignified sanitation option, particularly in communities where traditional sanitation options are not accessible, feasible or affordable.
As we work to grow our household EkoLakay service, we hold on to a vision of a world where access to improved sanitation is available for everybody. With this vision in mind, SOIL also provides and manages a public sanitation block in the busy central market of Cap-Haitien.
Installing public toilets in the market center has been an incredibly impactful initiative for SOIL, as we have been able to provide this critical service and fill the sanitation gap for thousands of people who visit or sell at the market. As with our household EkoLakay service, 100% of the waste is safely treated and transformed into compost at our facility outside of Cap-Haitien.
EkoMobil Toilet Rentals
EkoMobil is SOIL’s affordable, high-quality, and ecologically beneficial portable toilet rental service that SOIL operates in Cap-Haitien. Just like SOIL’s household toilet service, EkoMobil is a container-based sanitation (CBS) solution, where wastes are collected and taken to SOIL’s waste treatment facility for safe treatment and transformation.
SOIL is working to expand the EkoMobil service to generate revenue to support our household sanitation. Demand for EkoMobil has grown significantly, and SOIL is excited to be able to provide essential sanitation services at private events, construction sites, public festivals and more!
Waste Treatment and Transformation
Too often, sanitation development projects start and end with toilets. But without safe waste treatment, water supplies are contaminated with dangerous pathogens from human waste. This pollution is downright deadly: globally, diarrhea is the second leading cause of death in children under five, and in Haiti, a country of just over 9 million people, 10 children die every day from water-borne illnesses.
SOIL employs ecological sanitation to safely treat and transform human waste into rich, fertile compost – a process that is restorative, sustainable, and ecologically-sound. Furthermore, it shifts the paradigm from a primarily destructive aim (i.e. killing pathogens that make people ill) to a productive one, whereby human wastes are transformed into a valuable resource for the environment.
500 Metric Tons
of waste treated each year
200+ Metric Tons
of compost produced each year
Containment & Collection
SOIL's service is designed so that waste from household toilets can be safely contained, sealed and transported. Every week, SOIL's team of sanitation workers collect full containers of waste from households and exchange them with empty containers.
SOIL uses modified vehicles fitted with cages (affectionately referred to as PoopMobiles) to transport the waste out of the densely populated neighborhoods to our centralized waste treatment facility. SOIL's collection service prevents over 500 metric tons of waste from going out into the environment untreated each year; preventing the contamination of precious water resources and aquatic coastal ecosystems.
100% of the waste collected from our household, public and EkoMobil toilets is treated at our composting waste treatment facility. SOIL's waste treatment turns a potential public health and environmental contamination threat into a climate-positive solution. SOIL's team transforms waste using thermophilic, ecological methods into a usable end product: organic compost.
Since building the first waste treatment facility in Haiti in 2009, SOIL has gone on to become one of the largest waste treatment operations in the country; processing over 500 Metric Tons of waste each year.
SOIL's ecological sanitation safely treats and transforms human waste into rich, fertile compost – a process that is both sustainable and ecologically-sound. Furthermore, it shifts the paradigm from a primarily destructive aim (i.e. killing pathogens that make people ill) to a productive one, whereby human wastes are transformed into a valuable resource for the environment.
SOIL's facility currently produces ~200 metric tons of compost from the waste treated each year. SOIL sells our compost product, branded Konpòs Lakay, to farmers, organizations, and businesses around Haiti to support agricultural and reforestation efforts, while subsidizing the cost of SOIL’s waste treatment operations.
With a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of US$1,149.50, Haiti remains one of the most impoverished countries in the world. Economic instability has been exacerbated by the ongoing poilitical and social unrest and natural disasters. SOIL is committed to providing dignified livelihood opportunities for Haitians through above standard wages, health benefits, and retirement benefits for our staff.
65+ Full Time
of leadership positions filled by women
SOIL's sanitation service was intentionally designed to maximize economic opportunities for the communities that we serve through providing critical job opportunities in the formal economy. This has been essential for not only building capacity within the sanitation sector in Haiti, but also providing real income-generating impact for workers.
As a women-led organization, SOIL is committed to gender equity in livelihood creation and in hiring women in leadership positions. We make a significant effort to recruit female employees across all of SOIL's departments and we believe that women are uniquely qualified and effective in these positions because of their central role in managing water, sanitation and hygiene within their households.
Climate CHANGE Adaptation AND MITIGATION
Haiti is ranked as the 3rd most vulnerable country in the world to climate risks. Climate change impacts Haiti in a number of alarming ways, including increases in the intensity and frequency of hurricanes, flood events, landslides (due to soil erosion), and drought (brought about by erratic rainfall patterns).
SOIL's sanitation service is designed to maximize climate resilience and adaptation across the entire sanitation value chain.
of CO2 mitigated per household per year
1,540 Metric Tons
of GHGs mitigated each year
36.9 Million Gallons
of water saved each year (compared to flush toilets)
Climate Change Adaptation
SOIL's toilets are designed to be resilient to natural disasters and are the only sanitation technology used in urban Haiti which does not result in environmental contamination during flooding events.
SOIL also uses a waterless toilet that does not require flowing water in areas where access to water hookups are unavailable and water resources are scarce. SOIL's household toilet conserves more than 19,000 gallons of water each year relative to a flush toilet.
By removing untreated waste from communities and turning it into a resource, SOIL protects vulnerable aquatic ecosystems and groundwater sources, while restoring soil fertility and helping farmers grow more food. Capturing nutrients from human waste recycles and returns nutrients to the soil to restore ecosystems and improve agricultural livelihoods in northern Haiti.
Compost application in particularly damaged landscapes significantly helps to 1) improve the absorptive capacity of topsoil, reducing the risk of flash floods and mudslides, 2) improve soil water retention to help farmers face increasingly frequent drought events and 3) helps to establish more resilient and healthier soils to protect against the negative impacts of climate change.
Climate Change Mitigation
SOIL's holistic solution is focused on repairing broken nutrient and carbon cycles to recover and recycle valuable natural resources back into the soil to improve the resiliency of agro-ecosystems instead of contributing to the climate crisis.
Our composting waste treatment process reduces greenhouse gas emissions, when compared to other traditional waste treatment systems - nearly 1 Metric Ton of GHGs per household per year - and application of SOIL's compost promotes carbon sequestration, water retention and soil health.