SOIL Wins 2018 Lush Spring Prize Award for Social and Environmental Regeneration
SOIL has won the 2018 Lush Spring Prize for Social and Environmental Regeneration! This award recognizes organizations that are working to revive damaged social and natural environments and that demonstrate a commitment to sharing what they are doing to inspire and inform others. SOIL was selected for the Lush Spring Prize in the Established Projects category – a category that honors established community groups, organizations, networks, and businesses that demonstrate successful and inspirational work for more than five years.
SOIL was formed in 2006 by a team of ecologists and human rights activists to transform a public health crisis into an environmental solution in climate-vulnerable urban communities in Haiti. By taking a holistic approach to sanitation, SOIL’s work simultaneously revives damaged socioeconomic and natural environments.
For a small monthly fee SOIL’s social business, EkoLakay, provides over 6,500 people with ecological sanitation toilets and waste treatment services - all waste is safely transformed into rich compost in a treatment process that respects 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. The more than 100 metric of tons of compost that SOIL produces annually is used to support agriculture and reforestation efforts in Haiti, ensuring nutrient recirculation and improving soil carbon sequestration. Compost also enhances environmental resilience and climate adaptation by promoting plant growth, stabilizing soils, and reducing the impact of flooding and droughts.
SOIL’s initiative is widely recognized as one of the most promising tests of the paradigm-shifting hypothesis that sanitation no longer needs to focus on waste disposal, but rather on the ecologically beneficial transformation and reuse of human waste to support planet health. Although SOIL’s implementation efforts are limited to Haiti, its ultimate goal is to demonstrate on a global level that it is possible to provide access to affordable sanitation solutions that produce resources, restore ecosystems, nurture solidarity, and created livelihood opportunities, all the while building health and resilience.