Haitian Studies Association

Environment Blog, Working Group - Environment

Dappiyanp sou Tè: Seizure of Land, Rights, and Sustainability in Haiti

by Lois Wilcken

Welcome to the HSA Working Group on the Environment's blog series. For information on how to contribute your work, please contact Gary Gervais, ggervais@hushmail.com, or Lois Wilcken, makandal@earthlink.net.




Figure 1. Vèvè for Kouzen Zaka, art by Kesler Pierre, used by permission

The month of May in Haiti has customarily celebrated the worker, and until very recent times people understood “worker” as one who tilled the soil. The month kicks off with Labor Day conflated with May Day, the former rooted in labor organizing and the latter in rural festivals marking the start of summer. Practitioners of Haitian Vodou salute Azaka Mede, spirit of the earth and farmers, throughout the month.

How bitterly ironic that the authors of a notorious land grab (dap piyanp tè) should choose the month of May to seize a tract of land granted to Solidarite Fanm Ayisyen (Haitian Women in Solidarity, or SOFA). In 2016 SOFA had opened Délicea Jean, a school for organic farming that served struggling cultivators, most of them women, while addressing both environmental and economic challenges. In 2017 it acquired 13.75 hectares (≈ 34 acres) of land for hands-on experience. The tract was located on Savane Diane, a stretch of fertile land at the intersection of three administrative departments (North, Center, and Artibonite). Despite a ministerial designation of the land in 2018 as a priority area for food self-sufficiency, the same ministry (Agriculture) revoked SOFA’s legal rights in May 2020 and used an armed group of men to forcibly close down the project. According to witnesses, some women sustained injuries. Appeals to the judicial system went unheeded as the ministry classified the incident a “dispute.”

Figure 2. Women of Délicea Jean, photo by Maxence Bradley, used by permission

In February 2021 the national government decreed Savane Diane an agro-industrial free trade zone. The decree threw a cloak of legitimacy over the May 2020 seizure of SOFA’s land by Stevia Agro Industries, a venture under the control of wealthy businessmen André Apaid. The order allocated 8,000 hectares, including SOFA’s land, to produce the sweetener stevia for companies like Coca Cola. The reader may find further firsthand details of the story in Lamour (2021).


We currently understand a land grab as a large-scale acquisition of land through lease or purchase, for the most part by transnational corporations, sometimes with the cooperation of local elites and often in violation of local law and/or custom. While such appropriation of land has a long history, Transnational Institute (TNI) noted a re-emergence of the term in the context of  the global food crisis of 2007–2008. TNI argues that power and profit drive the land grab. Examples proliferate: one wealthy family in Guatemala outbids a group of landless peasants for the land on which they had been tenants, a sugar mill benefits, and the peasants are forcibly evicted (Transnational Institute 2013, 8–9; downloadable English, French and Spanish versions); indigenous Ethiopians are dispossessed as the government leases fertile farmlands to foreign and domestic companies, and dam-building sprees in Laos and Cambodia dispossess indigenous communities (International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs 2018).

Land grabs have a history in Haiti. The lack of a well-founded system for recording land ownership has opened the peasant class to expropriation on the part of powerful families since the early years of the Republic and foreign businesses more recently—like the sisal plantations operated for the benefit of the US Department of Defense beginning in the years of the first US occupation (1915–1934). Haitians have recorded an uptick beginning with the earthquake of 2010 and escalating further since. In 2020 a coalition of grassroots peasant and human rights organizations conducted “solidarity and informational visits” in the North and Northeast Departments (Louis, Jean-Pierre, and Piervilus 2020). They documented illegal land seizures, often violent, throughout the region.

Figure 3. Sisal Farm near Port-au-Prince, 1951. Credit: Bettmann Archive

In June 2022 Ayibopost published its investigation of recent land grabs in the Northeast Department (French version here), particularly in the vicinity of Terrier-Rouge. Based on interviews with farmers, members of peasant organizations, municipal agents, a local notary, and a spokesperson for a foreign firm benefitting from one seizure, the investigation found that more than 300 farmers belonging to an association for small planters lost more than 7,000 hectares of land to a proposed hospital that would occupy no more than ten hectares; that land in the area had been used to construct an air landing strip and a port, possibly for drug trafficking—locals have implicated a former senator, now sanctioned for drug trafficking by the US Treasury Department—and that other forcible evictions cleared the way for a luxury hotel and a road that never materialized. Speaking with Ayibopost, the leader of a reforestation organization identified as most vulnerable the areas near cities, the coastline, the national route, and—especially telling—metal mines. Critics associate industrial parks in the area—including Caracol, Codevi, and Agitrans—with environmental degradation and “forced expropriation of peasants.”

Peyizan nan Nòdès ap pèdi tè yo (Peasants in the Northeast are losing their land)
2021. Video directed by Philicien Casimir and Widlore Merancourt for Ayibopost

Many and various enticements thus motivate land-grabbers, and the potentially lucrative cash crop, however non-essential to human welfare, ranks high among them. The cash crop entails monocropping, that is, minimal or no crop rotation, like the kind currently in place in Savane Diane (stevia only for the transnational Coca Cola). Research has demonstrated that monocropping damages soil ecosystems. Farmers following ancestral methods seem know this science already, and women farmers arguably know best. The rights of women and the Earth intertwine like root systems. Martha Merrow, reporting for ClimateXchange in 2020, notes the social benefits that accrue when women own land, including increases in food security and nutrition for women and children, improved health and educational outcomes, and a reduction of gender-based violence in the home. The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) points to ecological benefits in a general recommendation published in 2018 (for download in multiple languages).

the traditional knowledge held by women in agricultural regions is particularly important…because those women are well positioned to observe changes in the environment and respond to them through adaptive practices in crop selection, planting, harvesting, land conservation techniques and careful management of water resources.

For these reasons, Haiti’s SOFA created a program in organic farming primarily for women, and for these reasons the Haiti-based Nègès Mawon, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), and the Global Justice Clinic (GJC) in March 2022 collectively submitted input to the report on Haiti of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women. See a press release about this input (Kreyòl version here); and find a copy of the input at Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti 2022 (downloadable and with Kreyòl version here). See also Bell 2016.

Besides the work of journalists and human rights organizations cited above, activists in Haiti are organizing to take control of the land for permanent, sustainable use. The coalition of grassroots movements cited earlier for conducting an investigation in 2020 published a list of demands signed by a dozen organizations, including Tèt Kole Ti Peyizan Ayisyen (Haitian Peasants United), Haitian Platform to Advocate Alternative Development (PAPDA), and the Peasant Movement of Papaye (MPP). The Kolektif Jistis Min (Justice in Mining Collective, or KJM) networks civil society organizations and community-based groups and individuals in all ten departments (Gray et al. 2015). Young Haitians are participating in grassroots organizing across borders. Activist Islanda Micherline belongs to both Tèt Kole Ti Peyizan Ayisyen and the Caribbean branch of the international Via Campesina (CLOC), Micherline worked on a documentary about youth and agroecology in Haiti, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic.

Semillas de Libertad (Seeds of Freedom). 2021. Documentary by Articulación de Jóvenes for CLOC–Via Campesina. Subtitles in English, Kreyòl, and Spanish

Those of us outside of Haiti must support such movements—join them if we can. We must use our available platforms to educate and to highlight justice as the bedrock of a sustainable world, one in which the people of the land can resume their labor and their May Day celebrations without fear of expropriation. In that spirit, please share this article!


Capire. 2021. “Women Resist Land Grabbing and Free Zone in Haiti.” Capire, March 26. https://capiremov.org/en/experience/women-resist-land-grabbing-and-free-zone-in-haiti/. French version at https://capiremov.org/fr/experiences/les-femmes-resistent-a-laccaparement-des-terres-et-a-la-zone-franche-dans-la-region-dhaiti/.

Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. 2022. Input for SR VAW’s Report on Violence Against Women in the Context of the Climate Crisis: Observations on Challenges and Opportunities in Haiti. Report submitted by Nègès Mawon, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), and the Global Justice Clinic (GJC) to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, March 31. http://www.ijdh.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Input-for-SR-VAW-re-VAW-Climate-NegesMawon-IJDH-GJC.pdf. Kreyòl version at http://www.ijdh.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Input-for-SR-VAWs-Report-on-Violence-Against-Women-in-the-Context-of-the-Climate-KR.pdf.

Lamour, Sabine. 2021. « Note de protestation de la SOFA contre le projet de zone franche à Savane-Diane ». Le Nouvelliste, 5 mars. https://lenouvelliste.com/article/226777/note-de-protestation-de-la-sofa-contre-le-projet-de-zone-franche-a-savane-diane/.

Merancourt, Widlore. 2022. “Large-scale land theft operation in the Northeast.” English translation by Didenique Jocelyn.  Ayibopost, June. https://ayibopost.com/large-scale-land-theft-operation-in-the-northeast/. French version at https://ayibopost.com/vaste-operation-de-vol-de-terrain-dans-le-nord-est/.

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The Energy Potential of Marine Macroalgae in Haiti

by Gary W. Gervais & Jodany Fortuné

Welcome to the HSA Working Group on the Environment's blog series. For information on how to contribute your work, please contact Gary Gervais, ggervais@hushmail.com, or Lois Wilcken, makandal@earthlink.net.

Fig 1: Sargassum invasion on the South coast of Haiti, 2014

Haiti, like most Caribbean countries, faces a growing energy crisis due to the increasing costs of fossil fuels and the lack of indigenous domestic energy supplies. Biofuels are increasingly considered as alternatives to fossil fuels to power modern societies, but they carry their own negative environmental impacts and limitations. In order for biofuels to make a more positive impact on the energy economy of Haiti, three conditions must be met: (i) a new source of millions of tons of sustainably sourced biomass must be discovered with fewer negative environmental impacts than fuel wood; (ii) the biomass must be safely and efficiently transformed into a useful fuel to serve the needs of homes and industries; and (iii) an entire transportation and distribution network has to be created to place this new energy supply in the hands of the end users. Today, we will discuss our research into turning sargassum seaweed into useful biogas energy.

In our laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), we have spent a decade exploring the technical and economic viability of using marine macroalgae as a source of biomass to replace part of the fossil fuel demand. Puerto Rico (PR) is even more dependent on imported fossil fuels than Haiti, as 98% of our total energy supplies come from imported oil, gas and coal. Just for comparison, PR imports more than 35 million barrels of oil equivalents per year, while Haiti imports about 7.7 million. The total cost of these imports represents $855 per capita in PR and $47 per capita in Haiti (CIA 2020). In addition to the great environmental costs that these fossil fuels impose on our countries, these imports represent a huge tax on local economies, so that any substitution of imports with domestic energy supplies would represent a positive contribution to economic development in both jurisdictions.

Our research has shown that sargassum can be converted into biogas even in full-strength seawater – that is seawater which is at least 3.2% sea salts. Our research, originally funded by the US Department of Defense from 2012-2015 ( Grant # W911NF-11-1-0218), was designed to demonstrate whether an anaerobic digester could operate in seawater to convert marine biomass into biogas. Biogas is produced by microbial processes which must be carried out in the total absence of oxygen, since it is exceedingly toxic to the microbes which produce methane gas, the key fuel component of biogas. The devices where this process is implemented are called bioreactors, or anaerobic digesters, and are simply large sealed tanks into which one pumps a feed slurry of water and ground up biomass. The slurry passes slowly through the tank as the microbes inside consume the biomass (in our case a sargassum slurry), converting the carbon in the algae into new microbial cells and excreting biogas as a waste product. The same liquid volume that enters the bioreactor every day at the inlet end must be matched to the removal of an equivalent volume of spent effluent at the outlet end, in order to maintain a constant volume of liquid. The spent effluent is still rich in nutrients, dead microbial cells and minerals, and in our original proposal to the DOD we described the possible end applications of this effluent as part of our proposed biogas industry. Our primary interest has been the use of these effluents to promote the creation of a local aquaculture industry to grow high value macroalgae which are commonly used as source of fine chemicals, food, and nutraceuticals. In contrast to Haiti, which has no macroalgae industry, the production and transformation of marine algae is a major industry in Asia, the North Atlantic, and some other Caribbean islands.

Each year, from five to twenty million tons of sargassum drifts across the Caribbean, until it lands on the shores of the islands and the Gulf Coast of Mexico and the United States (US) (Yong, 2019). Haiti, the Dominican Republic (DR), and PR all have to deal with the massive amounts of sargassum which pile up the beaches for a few months every year. In PR and the DR, municipal governments must spend millions of dollars every year to haul tons of sargassum to the sanitary landfills. The marina in Palmas del Mar Puerto Rico alone spends US$175,000 just for sargassum removal from that one small area (Días-Torres, 2021). The excess algae may also destroy coastal fishing in addition to shutting down the tourism industry. Milledge and Harvey reported in 2016%% that Caribbean nations were spending US$120 million per year for sargassum removal, while the island city of Galveston Texas alone was spending US$3.5M per year. As you may already know if you have visited the beaches near Jacmel, this huge mass of algae rots on the beaches, producing toxic hydrogen sulfide gas and driving away tourism.

This biomass could be transformed from an environmental nightmare into a valuable asset if we can demonstrate the technical and economic viability of producing biogas at an industrial scale. Our ten years of work have shown that the technology works at the laboratory scale. What is now required is a pilot facility where we can generate the necessary hard data on feedstock variability, biogas production rates, effluent composition, and effluent applications. With good pilot plant data we could conceivably convince investors (either public or private sector) to invest in the first large scale demonstration plant.

Our group at UPR, in collaboration with researchers from Université Quisqueya in Port-au-Prince, as well as American University of the Caribbean (Les Cayes) have been actively seeking funds from international agencies for the construction and operation of a pilot plant on the south coast of Haiti, which receives the largest deposits of sargassum in the country. Unfortunately, we have yet to receive financing from any of the agencies we have approached. This is only partly due to the current political and social instability in Haiti; other factors impede our fund-raising efforts. These proposals were prepared with a variety of collaborating local and international institutions to build pilot plants in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and/or Haiti. Biofuels research, like most applied research, is at the mercy of the whims of national and international agencies that are driven by scientific fashion and popularity as much as by scientific need. Unfortunately, marine biofuels research was recently in a trough and none of our proposals were funded. On a more positive note, the scientific gossip has it that algal biofuels may come back into favor, at least during the Biden administration. In any case, we have already achieved what we can hope to accomplish in our small laboratory bioreactors (See Fig 2), and the next stage of our research must be at a much larger scale, hence, the need for a pilot plant.

Figure 2. 15L laboratory bioreactor at the University of Puerto Rico.

To better understand the potential, we can project the biogas output for every thousand tons of sargassum slurry we process. We should point out that our own research, as well as research from other labs around the Caribbean over the years, has shown that sargassum is one of the most difficult macroalgae species for anaerobic digestion, as the cell wall material is very resistant to anaerobic degradation. Therefore, if we can make useful amounts of biogas from sargassum (see Fig. 3), then we are convinced that we can do so with any other local algae species.

Figure 3. Sargassum collected on Escambron beach, San Juan, PR 2016 (photo credit Fortuné)

Wet sargassum (just collected from the sea) has about 5 to 7 percent solids content, so 50 to 70 kg of dry algal biomass per metric ton. The fuel value of these organic solids, assuming you just burned them in air, would be about 8 million kilojoules per metric ton. Table 1 offers a rough breakdown of the yields of biogas fuel we can anticipate for every thousand metric tons of fresh sargassum we process, under optimistic and pessimistic assumptions for biogas energy yield. The design basis is a process for converting 1000 metric tons per year of fresh sargassum into biogas and other useful by-products. Since sargassum is only available for three to six months per year (spring through fall), it is more cost-effective to harvest the algae at the peak of its production, convert the raw sargassum into silage for long term storage, and then gassify the silage throughout the entire year in a bioreactor. This permits us to keep the bioreactor in operation year-round, even though the feedstock (sargassum) is available for less than half of the year.

Table 1: Design specifications for a small biogas plant for Haiti

Click to view table

It is clear from these numbers that although sargassum is plentiful in the Caribbean, it could not supply more than a small fraction of the current annual fossil fuel demand of Haiti (7.7M barrels of oil equivalent). Realistically, we could not hope to harvest more than half a million tons of floating sargassum rafts off the Haitian coast (optimistically equivalent to 12,000 BOE of energy). Therefore, although biogas does represent an option for mitigating the serious environmental problems caused by sargassum on the south coast of Haiti, it could only substitute for a small fraction of the total annual fossil fuel energy demand of the country.

However, we have shown that intense cultivation of marine macroalgae off the coasts of PR in aquaculture farms could provide a significant fraction of the total energy demand of PR. Intensive aquaculture of macroalgae has been shown to produce much more biomass per hectare than natural harvests—and there is much data to support this (Roesijadi et al, 2010). Haiti has a great potential for macroalgae aquaculture, given its long coast line and relatively low per capita energy consumption and we would strongly urge Haiti to consider the feasibility of creating a marine aquaculture industry for biomass production for food, fuel, and fine chemicals. Many island jurisdictions have already created vibrant macroalgae industries, and Haiti can do the same.

Building a demonstration plant to convert invasive sargassum into useful biogas could serve as a transition step in the development of a full scale macroalgae biomass industry which would produce not only energy but also food products, fertilizers and other fine chemicals which have a very high market value. Meanwhile, the demonstration plant would allow Haitian scientists and engineers to perfect the technology of biogas production, the safe harvest of sargassum, and later the intensive harvest of commercially grown algal species. The demonstration plant would also serve as a proving ground for the development of the potential high-value by-products which would make the whole operation economically sound, in addition to being enormously beneficial to the coastal environment.


CIA Fact book, 2020 (2016 data) retrived from: IEA.ORG

Theodora.com: Haiti International Rankings 2020

Días-Torres, R. 2021 Sin Rumbo el Manejo del Sargazo en Puerto Rico. Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, 7 Julio, 2021.

Louime, C. Fortune, J.  and Gervais, G.. 2017 Sargassum Invasion of Coastal Environments: A Growing Concern.  Am. J. of Env. Sciences. doi.10.3844/ajessp2017.

Milledge, J.J. & Harvey, P.J. 2016. Golden Tides: Problem or Golden Opportunity? The Valorisation of Sargassum from Beach Inundations. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 4, 60.

Roesijadi et al, 2010.  Macroalgae as a Biomass Feedstock: A Preliminary Analysis,  Report # PNNL- 19944 of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington.

Yong, E. 2019. Why Waves of Seaweed Have Been Smothering Caribbean Beaches

Since 2011, blooms of Sargassum have wreaked havoc on tropical shores. A new study explains why this is likely a new normal. The Atlantic Monthly. July 4, 2019.


gassify: A biological or thermochemical process for converting a solid or liquid into a gas. In our laboratory, sargassum seaweed is converted into biogas using a microbial process.

kilojoules (kJ): A common unit of energy.    A liter of gasoline has a heat of combustion of 34,200 KJ of thermal energy or 8170 kilocalories/

Nutraceuticals: Specialized food products of high nutritional value or with medicinal properties.  Many marine products are now being marketed as nutraceuticals.

Sargassum: A large family of brown macroalgae ( more than 100 described species), more than one meter long, which may be found free-floating as large rafts in open waters of the Atlantic (The Great Sargassum Sea).   Some species attach to the bottom substrate in shallow coastal waters.

silage: Raw plant biomass which is allowed to ferment slightly in to permit long-term storage at room temperature without losing nutritional value.

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SOIL Haiti – A Circular Economy Model for Urban Sanitation in Vulnerable Communities

by Dr. Sasha Kramer & Ashlie Bermudez

Welcome to the HSA Working Group on the Environment's blog series. For information on how to contribute your work, please contact Gary Gervais, ggervais@hushmail.com, or Lois Wilcken, makandal@earthlink.net.

“It’s a modern-day alchemy that is, on a small scale at least, helping Haitians turn something deadly into something valuable.”

Thus wrote journalist and artist Isabel Doucet for The Guardian in a 2013 report on how Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods, better known as SOIL, was meeting the cholera epidemic’s challenge. Since that time, SOIL’s small scale has broadened beyond the immediate earthquake and cholera crises. Its programs offer models in sustainability and community-led development.

The HSA Working Group on the Environment invited SOIL to contribute to its new blog with a presentation of SOIL’s work in northern Haiti. Director Dr. Sasha Kramer graciously accepted our invitation. We thank her and Development and Communications Associate Ashlie Bermudez for writing and contributing this post.

See a video of SOIL’s work on YouTube, and visit its website for more. You can donate here.

About SOIL

Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) is a Haiti-based non-profit social enterprise that is setting a global example for how to affordably and sustainably provide safely managed sanitation in rapidly growing urban communities. Since 2006, SOIL has been working to provide access to in-home sanitation through its EkoLakay toilet service. Its circular economy approach includes providing in-home toilets, the collection and treatment of wastes, and the transformation of that waste into rich, organic compost. SOIL’s work sits at the intersection of human rights, environmental justice, and economic development, and we are proud of our long-term commitment to Haiti.

SOIL currently provides lifesaving sanitation services to 9,000 people in urban Haiti and produces more than 80+ tons of nutrient-packed compost annually to help rebuild the island nation’s damaged soils. As we work to scale our service, SOIL is on its way to provide 15% of the city of Cap-Haitïen, Haiti, with safe sanitation and produce 800+ metric tons of compost by 2025. This will expand sanitation access from 1,500 households served today to over 8,000 households, reaching an estimated 48,000 people.

SOIL’s full cycle solution, which is currently the only safely managed sanitation service in northern Haiti, is consciously and practically designed to utilize local resources, prevent environmental contamination, and recycle nutrients back into the soil to minimize the footprint of sanitation while restoring local ecosystems. SOIL’s solution is broken down into two connected business models: the EkoLakay household toilet service and the composting waste treatment operation.

Two business models connect for SOIL’s full cycle solution.

Community-driven Process:

SOIL strongly believes in the power of community-led development and encourages our communities to have an active role in the work we do from design iteration to development to implementation. Haitian women and men with the local knowledge and skills needed to implement a solution that works for their community compose 98% of our operational staff.

Building relationships and collaborating with stakeholders at all levels in Haiti are critical to providing services that meet the needs of the population, aligning with national goals and initiatives, and developing a business model that is sustainable. To best align with Haitian government goals, SOIL collaborates at the local and national levels. At the local level, over this past year and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SOIL has partnered with the mayors of Cap-Haïtien to provide public toilets in the main city market and to support public health measures and communications in Cap-Haïtien through our community networks.

SOIL has also worked closely with Haitian sanitation authority (DINEPA) and its local implementation office (OREPA Nord) to successfully build out a strong relationship to design a sustainable financing partnership that would expand access to SOIL’s services. Additionally, SOIL is actively engaged with other ministries, including the Ministry of Public Health (MSPP), the Ministry of the Environment (MdE), and the Ministry of Agriculture (MARNDR).

Our community-driven holistic sanitation solution is designed (and continues to adapt) to improve public health, quality of life, and the environment—to facilitate the long-term sustainability of in-home sanitation services in Haiti. For SOIL, providing an in-home toilet is only one part of supporting our communities’ essential needs; we’re invested in setting households and communities on a path for long-term quality of life improvement, safety and security, and opportunities for dignified livelihoods.

Research and Replication

Testing Compost

Research plays a critical role in SOIL’s efforts to achieve strategic goals and advance knowledge in the sanitation sector. SOIL’s Research team is currently working on a number of ongoing research projects, including small-scale black soldier fly larvae experiments, human-centered design projects, utilizing aeration to make the waste-to-compost process more efficient, and windrow composting. These initiatives are all part of our effort to make our service more efficient, climate-positive, and replicable.

As part of our global efforts to transform the sanitation sector, SOIL is a founding member and active participant in the Container Based Sanitation Alliance (CBSA), which is working to support the development and replication of similar models globally. Our goal with the CBSA is to share the lessons learned from our work in Haiti to help support the provision of safe sanitation in cities around the world as population growth outstrips the ability of infrastructure to meet basic needs. SOIL’s revolutionary CBS solution has time and time again proven resilient to a high-risk environment, representing a significant breakthrough in the urban sanitation field and opening the potential of scaling rapidly in cities lacking sanitation services.

Climate Positive Solutions for Vulnerable Ecosystems

Haiti is ranked third in the world for being most vulnerable to climate risks and climate change. (Global Climate Risk Index 2021) Climate change poses a serious threat to many of Haiti’s industries and the overall livelihoods of its people. Though Haiti’s geographical location and topological features certainly increase the nation’s physical vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, the degree of environmental degradation and environmental vulnerability in Haiti is anything but natural.

Aerial view of rural Haiti

The impacts of climate change and the pressing need to find sustainable solutions to providing access to basic services that make our planet and people more resilient have helped to frame SOIL’s model. SOIL’s sanitation intervention in Haiti provides a myriad of positive externalities including preserving water and energy resources, releasing less greenhouse gas emissions, and sequestering carbon. Furthermore, our organic compost, Konpòs Lakay, produced from safely treated human waste, supports critically needed biodiversity efforts in Haiti, a country that is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. We are deeply invested in Haiti’s future and are committed to improving climate resiliency through sustainable development.

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