Worldwide, more people have cell phones than access to a toilet! In fact, 2.6 billion people lack access to proper, clean sanitation. This lack of sanitation is the world’s biggest cause of infection. In Haiti, where only 17 percent of the population has access to a toilet, more than 6,000 lives lost to cholera could have been saved with improved sanitation, hygiene and management of water resources.
"Sanitation was the most successful health intervention in the modern world," says SOIL co-founder and soil ecologist Sasha Kramer. But in Haiti, "poop getting into water is the leading cause of death."
Since building Haiti’s first EcoSan toilet in 2006, SOIL, has been pioneering innovative new sanitation solutions throughout Haiti. A national leader in sanitation, currently, SOIL’s composting waste treatment site is producing over 5 tons of compost per week. While continuing to provide public sanitation services to over 20,000 people in IDP camps and 50,000 in rural areas, SOIL is now adding household sanitation solutions.
SOIL’s household toilet program, announced today in commemoration of World Toilet Day, is a pilot model for a low-cost, complete sanitation system for people moving out of displacement camps into permanent homes and for more than 80 percent of Haitians who otherwise have no access to improved sanitation. Through design and installation of an innovative new household toilet, the significant expansion of waste treatment capacities and the dissemination of lessons learned through educational activities and consulting, SOIL is working to set a new standard for responsible sanitation services and increase sanitation coverage statistics nationally.
The unique household EcoSan composting toilet will be designed by SOIL in collaboration with Stanford University School of Engineering students (Sebastian Tilmans and Kory Russel) with partial funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Reinvent the Toilet” campaign. Waste will be regularly collected and composted with sugarcane bagas—a byproduct of making rum- to speed up the composting cycle. The rich compost is then sold to farmers, and ideally, the Ministry of Agriculture, transforming waste into a valuable asset for Haiti’s agricultural sector.
In observation of World Toilet Day, SOIL is calling for individuals to make a small donation to the household toilet campaign. The target goal of $6000 to be raised this weekend will go directly to the first step in the pilot household toilet program. Donations can be made via First Giving (http://www.firstgiving.com/
The Executive Director of SOIL, Sasha Kramer, is available for interviews to discuss this innovative new program. Read more about SOIL at National Geographic (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/
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Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) is a US 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to protecting soil resources, empowering communities and transforming wastes into resources in Haiti.