Sasha Kramer: Nutrients for All Changemaker
Sasha Kramer is working with communities in Haiti to fight diarrhea-related disease, the leading cause of child mortality. She co-founded SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods), which transforms human waste into a resource for sustainable livelihoods, agriculture, and reforestation.
SOIL works with communities to install low-cost toilets—an urgent need in a country where fewer than 25 percent of the population has access to adequate sanitation. Local SOIL workers maintain the toilets and collect the waste, delivering it to a composting facility where high heat kills pathogens and creates a nutrient-rich fertilizer that is being sold to farms and used for tree planting.
“Heineken has said that they would like to purchase 50,000 gallons of compost this year, which they’ll be using to support local agricultural production in Haiti,” Kramer said. “This creates a market demand for sustainable sanitation, and this partnership is something that could be replicable globally. It’s really exciting.”
SOIL has also recently partnered with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which worked with SOIL to pioneer a portable DNA extraction kit that makes it possible to test compost for pathogens. The technology will allow SOIL to further optimize its composting process and to ensure that harmful “bugs” like cholera stay out of the nutrient chain.
Recognized for its innovative impact model, SOIL was name a finalist of the Ashoka Changemakers Nutrients for All competition. To learn more about SOIL’s work, check out Kramer’s competition entry here, or read her story that was featured on the Ashoka Changemakers Nutrients for All blog.