Sasha Kramer – 2006 Ashoka Fellow and founder of SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) – is working to promote dignity, health, and sustainable livelihoods through the use of ecological sanitation in Haïti.
Their objectives and action are two-fold:
- To provide sanitation to people who would otherwise have no access to a toilet, and
- To convert this waste into an endless supply of rich, organic compost critical for agriculture and reforestation, as eco-friendly alternative to chemical fertilizer..
Since 2009, SOIL has become one of the largest waste treatment operations in the country, treating thousands of gallons of waste each month. As of Jan 2016, it reached over 3000 people.
This social business model provides an innovative, holistic service with multiple sources of revenue and very low barriers to entry. For example, customers can rent an EcoSan toilet which is built by local contractors using local materials, for approximately $5 USD per month, a fee that includes weekly waste collection. The waste is then converted into compost and sold to farmers and reforestation projects, which in turn generate revenue to support the sanitation services.
Sasha is part of the program cohort led by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Hystra and Ashoka to support social entrepreneurship in Latin America.