We’re excited about potentially partnering with the Ministry of Agriculture and other organizations to make connections with Haitian farmers and distribute our compost. The average nitrogen use of Haitian soil is about 1 kilogram per hectare compared to 200 kilograms per hectare in the United States so we realize that small changes in the availability of nutrients in soil can have a profound impact on agriculture.
How has the community response been to your EcoSan initiative?
Most of the world is eco-phobic and particularly afraid of human waste because of its potential for disease, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised by how the community has responded. In rural areas people have a sense of the transformative power of nature but in the urban areas where we have installed our toilets it has taken a little more convincing. Our staff has worked very hard to demonstrate the power of compost to the community – once people have seen the final product they understand how truly transformative it is.
How has SOIL implemented education initiatives to sustain compost production?
We are working with the community in Cap-Haitien and Port-au-Prince to teach individuals how to install the toilets, produce the compost, and use it effectively. We realize that we are a small organization but we would like to have an impact that goes beyond our size. We are working with outreach organizations in other parts of the country and also have several online resources on our website.
What is SOIL’s relationship with the Haitian government? Have you received any support or met any resistance?