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Featured entry SOIL, HAITI

The organization SOIL safely treats human waste and transforms it into compost which is sold to support agriculture, reforestation, and climate change mitigation efforts in Haiti.

One third of the world’s soils are degraded due to agriculture. At the same time, every fourth person lacks basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines in their homes. In the Caribbean nation of Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, these two issues create a vicious cycle of vulnerability. SOIL, a not-for-profit research and development organization, has developed a way to turn the situation around. Toilets are provided to urban communities. Then, the human waste is collected, safely treated and turned into organic compost. SOIL’s multifaceted approach aims at protecting vulnerable aquatic ecosystems and groundwater sources from being polluted while simultaneously restoring soil fertility, helping farmers grow more food, and sequestering carbon. Preliminary research results suggest that SOIL’s ecological sanitation technology emits 40-92% less greenhouse gases than traditional methods, and that management improvements can further reduce emissions. Their composting technique is also used for reforestation that helps to stabilize soils, helping to prevent the catastrophic floods and mudslides that plague the nation. The compost also reduces the need for synthetic fertilizer inputs, which are the primary source of soil nitrous oxide emissions and contribute 1% of global anthropogenic methane emissions.