It’s a time of celebration for Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) – we just installed our 1,000th EkoLakay household toilet!
SOIL is developing a transformative social business model for the sustainable provision of urban household sanitation and ecological waste treatment services in Haiti. In SOIL’s EkoLakay social business pilot, SOIL employees collect and transport wastes from locally-made toilets to a treatment facility where the waste is safely transformed into compost using a process that respects the World Health Organization standards. Revenues from toilet user fees and compost sales support ongoing project costs and showcase the potential to affordably provide household sanitation in the world’s most impoverished urban communities.
EkoLakay would not exist without our clients, who pay for the service every month, and in doing so, prove that ecological sanitation is a working alternative to other sanitation options like flush toilets or pit latrines. We want to thank each and every one of them. We are also so thankful for all of our friends and supporters, whose contributions subsidize the waste treatment component of the EkoLakay program.
Our 1,000th client’s name is Jean Nelson Arnoux. He lives in Port-au-Prince in a quiet neighborhood tucked behind a church and a school. Jean has a disability that prevents him from walking, and he said that this was one of the reasons that he chose to get an EkoLakay toilet. Like a chamber pot, EkoLakay can be installed right in someone’s bedroom! But with EkoLakay, one of our team members will pass by each house once a week to take the full container of waste and give a clean container containing more cover material, making maintenance easier for clients
EkoLakay is a convenient sanitation option for people with physical disabilities, people who don’t have a private toilet in their home, folks in areas with a high water table or lack of infrastructure, or people who want to ensure that their waste is transformed and reused in a safe, dignified, and ecologically beneficial way. There is a huge demand for sanitation services in Haiti, and SOIL is planning on how to scale up to meet this need with tens of thousands of EkoLakay toilets in the coming years.
The neighbors got curious about the celebration for Jean Nelson, and one named Meticien Junior ended up installing an EkoLakay in his house after seeing the set up. Jean proudly declared his status to passersby, “That’s me- the 1,000th client!” Junior matched his bravado with “and me, the 1,001st client!”
EkoLakay is supported in part by a Foundation Beyond Belief 2016 4th quarter grant. Support from Foundation Beyond Belief is helping SOIL refine the social business model for EkoLakay, subsidize the cost of waste treatment services, and continue to expand sanitation solutions in Haiti. Learn more here, and join us on social media @SOILHaiti.
Thank you for supporting SOIL’s work in Haiti!
SOIL was a Foundation Beyond Belief beneficiary in Q4 of 2016 and Q3 of 2014. They most recently received a grant of $8700 due to our generous Humanist Grants donors. To find out how to become a regular donor, please visit our website.