The composting toilet program exemplifies this spirit of collaboration. On June 8, 2016, people from two different communities attended a workshop on Ecological Sanitation hosted by SOIL in Port au Prince.
Jilsen is our toilet manager in Baissin Caiman. He had this to say about the workshop: “We have learned a lot of things today to build on our existing knowledge, and we are eager to continue working in our community.”
This has been the fruit of a long collaboration.
The composting toilet program was born after listening to the people of Baissin Caiman dream about what their lives could look like. We talked to hundreds of people from 30 homes in the area to get their input.
We went home, researched, and studied, and when we returned to Baissin Caiman, we held a town meeting. We affirmed the importance of proper sanitation and presented three different options to construct bathroom facilities. They chose composting toilets because it made sense to them—even though they did not understand all of the intricacies involved.
We researched how to build the toilets with local techniques and materials and then sought out resources in Haiti. We partnered with SOIL to train the committee members and have completed the pilot project in Baissin Caiman—four composting toilets, one in each of the four neighborhoods.
Baissin Caiman introduced the program to the members of St. Martin, and they completed the first compost toilet in that community last year. The people of St. Martin are eager to continue building compost toilets.
Clausel is on the sanitation committee in St. Martin. “This conference came at an important time for us,” he said. “In St. Martin, there are people getting sick from poor sanitation. We are very happy that we could learn some new things from this conference and now we want to continue serving in our community.”