Nearly 80% of Rwandans live on dirt floors. These floors are a major cause of infectious disease, respiratory illness, malnutrition, and vector-born diseases. Replacing dirt floors with the most common alternative, concrete flooring, has been shown to reduce diarrhea by 49 percent and parasitic infections by eight percent. Concrete, however, is prohibitively expensive, at over 300 USD for a 200 square foot home. In a world where 800 thousand children die each year from diarrhea, there is substantial unmet need for clean, durable, and affordable floors throughout the developing world. For EarthEnable, meeting this need begins with addressing the needs of millions in Rwanda, and extends to a potential market of billions of people across the world.
EarthEnable started with a dream to improve health outcomes through simple and affordable solutions. Traveling to Rwanda with the Stanford class “Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability”, in 2013, four Stanford students were tasked with their partner organization – The Mass Design Group - to design a product or a service that would make homes or communities healthier. They first sought to understand how sub-optimal homes affected physical and emotional health outcomes and were shocked to discover the significant health problems that dirt floors cause. Eliminating a dirt floor from the home results in dramatic reductions in childhood asthma, diarrhea, malnutrition, and parasitic infestations. They realized that they could change lives if they found a way to floor Rwanda.
Today, after about two years in operation, EarthEnable has built over 800 floors. We currently operate in six districts in Rwanda, and employ over 100 people. We have big plans to expand throughout Rwanda and the world!