Dirt floors are just what you think: dirty.
Dust is kicked up, spills and puddles stick around, and the floors of peoples’ homes become a breeding ground for mosquitos, parasites, and all of the disease that comes with them. But concrete floors are just too expensive for many families, especially in Rwanda.
EarthEnable’s custom-developed earthen floors are the solution. EarthEnable eliminates unsanitary dirt floors and provides affordable, sanitary flooring that can be washed, cleaned, and used to create a healthy home environment for millions of people.
Diarrhea is one of the leading causes of childhood death in Rwanda. Healthy floors have been shown to reduce the incidence of childhood diarrhea by 49% and parasitic infections by 78%. Dirt floors have been shown to harbor parasites, bacteria, and pathogens dangerous to children and the adults living in these homes. More than 1.8 million people are killed by diarrhea alone each year. The risks of diarrhea, malnutrition, asthma and pneumonia have all been shown to be reduced drastically when a home environment does not have a dirt floor.
An EarthEnable floor is 75% cheaper than a concrete floor. All of the benefits of a healthy floor at just a fraction of the price. Concrete is simply too expensive for many Rwandans, costing more than 2 months’ worth of an average family’s salary. When the choice comes down to buying food or buying a floor, most families cannot even consider the purchase of concrete. Having a healthy floor that is 75% cheaper makes it accessible to all Rwandans.
EarthEnable is committed to creating a long-term solution in Rwanda, which means training Rwandans to do the work. As part of EarthEnable’s model, we train local Rwandans as masons to learn exactly how to create and install an earthen floor. Then, the masons are able to go out and become income-generating entrepreneurs utilizing their new skills. We also hire and train for many other full-time positions including helpers for the masons, chemists, managers, administrative staff, and student interns.
Creating a floor that is healthy for humans AND good for the environment has always been a top priority at EarthEnable. Utilizing natural materials and green building techniques allows us to minimize our carbon footprint. Cement makes up 5% of total global carbon emissions and is incredibly energy intensive to produce. Earthen floors have 90% less embedded energy and are structurally strong, waterproof, and abrasion resistant. There are significantly more environmentally sustainable building materials than cement, and part of our mission is to put the developing world on a more sustainable development path.