Low cost ''earthen floor'' technology helps to improve the quality of lives in Rwanda | Africanews
11 months ago, 14 Jan 00:18
A group of former students at Stanford University had an idea to adapt a proven simple floor technology from the United States. Their non-profit social enterprise Earth Enable ,based one hour from ,Kigali now helps to improve the quality of life for families throughout the country. Their aptly named “earthen floors” are made without industrial .They use machinery from a mixture of compacted, locally sourced materials — gravel, sand and clay. They did not have an earthen floor,so what we going to do for them ,is to do the floor at a cheaper price. This will help them avoid diseases like diarrhea. So it's going to change their lives, and they are happy about that. It is then sealed with a natural oil mixed with a self-developed additive which is kept as a trade secret. In the US linseed oil is used, but it is rather expensive and difficult to source. The team found a replacement in flax oil, and developed a compatible sealant additive that made this floor concept work and affordable for low-income homes in Africa. The plant oil and additives are mixed at Earth Enable`s compound at the booming town of Nyamata, and ready for dispatch after cooling off within 24 hours. But local customers are not so much interested in the production process and rather if the new solution is living up to their expectations: ‘‘The Earth Enable floor is a floor which is not harmful to the environment. It is affordable and very cheaper. We do use the varnish from our people who do research and development. It is very good and helps us to make the floor very strong’‘,a call centre agent at Earth Enable, Jeanne Ishimwe said. A team from Earth Enable led by Operations assistant Olivier Hozana takes us to a village house where the dirt floors are to receive a make-over. House owner Chantal Uwera did her own research and was convinced that installing hard floors can reduce risk of illness. As she realized quickly with the high cost of materials and delivery using concrete as flooring solution would cost her $300 to $500 for her 40-square-meter home – a prohibitively expensive proposition. Earth Enable is now providing her with an affordable alternative at roughly one third of the price of concrete flooring – and cost is an important factor for subsistence farmers like her: “I choose what we know as Tura Neza as it is rather cheap, and I did not have money to buy cement, that is why I choose Tura Neza“ , Chantal said. In two weeks time, after a staged process of clearing dirt, compacting natural floor materials and sealing the ground with Earth Enable`s oil mix the new floors will provide a healthier home environment for the family. Olivier Hozana, Operations Assistant at Earth Enable said ‘‘they did not have an earthen floor,so what we going to do for them ,is to do the floor for a cheaper price. This will help them avoid diseases like diarrhea. So its is going ...
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