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Building a healthier Rwanda, from the ground up!

80% of Rwandans and over one billion people worldwide live in homes with dirt floors. Dirt floors are just what you'd think: dirty. Dust is kicked up during dry season, puddles stick around during the rainy season, and floors become a breeding ground for mosquitos and parasites.

But concrete floors are just too expensive. EarthEnable's earthen floors are the solution. Affordable, sanitary flooring that can be washed, cleaned, and create a healthy home environment for millions of people.

EarthEnable's Mission


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%.


An EathEnable floor is 75% cheaper than a concrete floor. All of the benefits of a healthy floor at just a fraction of the price.


EathEnable is committed to creating a sustainable solution in Rwanda, which means training Rwandans to do the work. We currently have 8 full-time and 9 part-time Rwandan staff, and we're growing every day!

Healthy floors create healthy lives.

Some Quick Statistics

In just a few months of full-time operation, we have accomplished so much.


Some of our statistics
Rwandan Families and Their Stories
  • Rwandan woman


    Emerence is a 72 year old woman from the Congo. She was one of only a few people in Nyamata city who still had a dirt floor, but concrete was too expensive so she had no choice but to continue living on dirt. EarthEnable trained new masons by providing her with a free floor. She loves that her home now is dust free and can be washed and swept clean.

  • Rwandan girls


    Jean lives in a small home in Nyamata with his wife and 9 young children. Most of the children would sleep in one room of the house, and the floor could not be cleaned even after the small children would wet the bed, making it unsanitary and making it smell terrible. EarthEnable's waterproof floor has made it able to be washed and cleaned, and has therefore significantly improved their quality of life.

  • Rwandan Mason

    Jean Pierre

    Jean Pierre is a mason from Masoro, who used to work as a day laborer. Some days, he would make money, and other days he would not; it was largely up to luck.

    Since EarthEnable employed him, he has been able to earn a consistent salary for his family, and has thoroughly enjoyed benefits such as paid leave, health insurance, and a pension.

What’s in a Floor?

EarthEnable started with a dream to improve health outcomes through simple and affordable solutions.

Traveling to Rwanda with a Stanford MBA class, we sought to understand how sub-optimal homes affected physical and emotional health outcomes. We 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.

It became our mission to find a way to floor Rwanda.

It turns out the solution was right in our own backyard! Earthen flooring has experienced a revival on the West Coast of the United States, with many home-owners craving sustainable and attractive modern earthen floors in their homes.

These floors are easy to clean, abrasion-resistant, and beautiful. All we had to do was find a way to adapt this new trend for Rwandan homes.

The primary limitation to widespread adoption of earthen floors is the level of training and site-specific testing that is required. EarthEnable brings modern earthen flooring to the poorest Rwandans by bridging this gap in training and providing local masons with the necessary expertise, business skills, and professional tools.

While linseed oil is the oil typically used in the US, the high cost of this oil meant that it could not scale in Rwanda. That’s where we had to innovate. We created a new oil from Rwandan materials that does the sealing and drying job of linseed oil for only a fraction of the cost.

Different layers of the floor

Layer 1: Gravel. Gravel is used to drain the floor (and to keep water from seeping up from under the floor and affecting the earthen mix) and also to level it out.

Layer 2: Laterite. This is a mix of small rocks and large sand particles that is compressed on top of the gravel to give the floor compressive and tensile strength.

Layer 3: Fine earthen mix. This is fine sand and clay that has been sieved, which is burnished to form an incredibly smooth and beautiful top layer. Made of the same earthen materials, it binds with the coarse earth mix.

Layer 4: Oil. The oil permeates the fine earthen mix and forms a waterproof and plastic-like resin on top. This is also the layer that gives the floor its shine, easy cleanability, and durability.

Rwanda Matters

Rwanda is a country only 20 years out of one of the most devastating genocides in world history. Every adult in this country not only remembers what happened, but they lived through it.

Rwanda has made great strides in the past 20 years. The economy is growing about 8% per year, life expectancy has doubled to 60 years, and infant mortality has decreased. But there’s a long way to go. Rwanda ranks 176th out of 188 countries for infant mortality rates. Rwanda is also the most densely populated country in Africa, with almost 12 million people in an area about the size of Maryland.

Floors Matter

80% of Rwanda’s population live on dirt floors. Their kitchens are on dirt floors; if a child wets the bed, it’s on a dirt floor; and when it’s time to clean up, well, how do you really clean a dirt floor? And it’s not just that they’re impractical, dirt floors are proven to cause and spread disease.

Puddles on a dirt floor become a breeding ground for mosquitos, and malarial mosquitos are the leading cause of death in Rwanda today. Children living in homes with dirt floors are more prone to diarrhea, the second leading cause of child death. Healthy floors have been shown to reduce incidence of childhood diarrhea by 49% and to reduce parasitic infections by 78%.

Want to work with us? We are hiring!

Who is behind Earth Enable?
Gayatri Datar

Gayatri Datar

Managing Director

Gayatri Datar has worked in international development for her whole career, including at Dalberg and the World Bank, and is passionate about providing the poor with the opportunities and stability needed to generate income for their families. She holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and an MPA in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Rick Zuzow

Managing Director

Rick Zuzow is a Ph.D. candidate in biochemistry at Stanford. He has significant research experience and is an expert in the chemistry of oils. His main passion is using his biochemistry knowledge and research skills to help design firms and social enterprises develop better and cheaper products and solutions that will improve the lives of consumers.

Rick Zuzow
Ingo Wiegand

Ingo Wiegand

Managing Director

Ingo Wiegand brings general management, marketing and operations experience to the team. He is passionate about leveraging his background from working at McKinsey & Company and in consumer-centric product marketing to build sustainable and efficient organizations that can significantly improve the lives of the poor. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and Business Management from Darmstadt University of Technology and is currently pursuing a joint MBA/MS at Stanford.

Henry Rukundo

Senior Operations Manager

Henry Rukundo brings 8 years of construction experience across Uganda and Rwanda to the team. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of our core operations. This includes on-site floor installation, hiring and training of masons as well as quality control of our finished product. He holds an A1 Diploma in Civil and Building Engineering from Uganda Technical College in Bushenyi.

Henry Rukundo
Vincent Usengumuremyi

Yannick Ntirushwa

Senior Marketing Manager

Yannick Ntirushwa has 7 years of experience in customer management and sales operations working with MTN RWANDA CELL. His passion is creating a unique customer experience as one of the best ways to achieve sustainable growth and customer loyalty, building a strong bond relationship between the organization and the customer.

  • Jean Pierre Ngarama

    Jean Pierre Ngarama

  • Theophile Ngirukwayo

    Theophile Ngirukwayo

  • Jean Paul Munyakaragwe

    Jean Paul Munyakaragwe

  • Venuste Hakizimana

    Venuste Hakizimana

  • Moses Staff Picture


  • Silvan Staff Picture


  • Jafette Staff Picture


  • Andre Staff Picture


  • Jacques Basenga

    Jacques Basenga

  • JP Sibomana

    JP Sibomana

  • Sylvestre Ntabareshya

    Sylvestre Ntabareshya

  • Jerome Sabiniro

    Jerome Sabiniro

  • Rene Mbabazi Gasana

    Rene Mbabazi Gasana

  • Patrick Ndayambaja

    Patrick Ndayambaje

  • Justin Dushime

    Justin Dushime

  • Clovis Shyaka

    Clovis Shyaka

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We’re incredibly passionate about improving the health of families with dirt floors. If you want to partner with us, if you have a question, or even if you just want to say hi, get in touch, we would love to hear from you!


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