Climate: Ecosystems + Housing



Developing green and affordable housing products and upskilling local masons to better the living conditions of the most vulnerable people.

Team Lead

Gayatri Datar

Solution Pitch

The Problem

The poorest 1.6 billion people in the world, including 21 million Kenyans, 8.5 million Rwandans, and 27 million Ugandans, live in unsafe homes that pose health risks and are structurally unsound. There is an unmet demand for safe and sustainable housing options that are affordable for those in poverty.

The Solution

EarthEnable designs affordable, durable, and green housing solutions for rural families, and distributes them through a network of local masons who benefit by significantly increasing their income. EarthEnable provides an alternative to unhygienic dirt and out-of-reach concrete housing. The flagship product is the earthen floor made from earth (laterite, sand, and clay) and sealed with a proprietary flax seed varnish to protect it from wear and tear; this floor is 80% cheaper than concrete and creates 95% less carbon-embedded energy. The second product, plaster, harnesses the same technology to seal walling from rain and insects. In addition to these two products, EarthEnable has other products on the market that are under testing (including adobe blocks and roofing made from bamboo) and continues to develop more with their Research & Development (R&D) team, in the hopes to increase the product range and finally be able to offer a fully-sustainable home.


  • EarthEnable has served 16,656 households with housing products and 1,518 Early Childhood Development Centers (ECDs) with floors as of July 2022.

  • Over 100,000 individuals who use these houses and facilities are estimated to have been impacted by the solution. 

  • To date, more than 550 local masons have been upskilled by EarthEnable.

Market Opportunity

The target demographic is undersourced rural families in Africa, who are often excluded from the housing market and left with no choice but to live in unsafe homes. There are 1.6 billion people in the world living in unsafe homes that pose health risks and are structurally unreliable. EarthEnable develops affordable housing alternatives for these populations.

Organization Highlights

  • Currently partnering with the Water Trust as the master franchisee. The Water Trust organizes saving groups to provide the poorest rural communities in Uganda with clean water and healthy homes. EarthEnable partners with them to incorporate the earthen floors as part of their WASH intervention, thus allowing EarthEnable to reach vulnerable families in Western Uganda.

  • Recently signed a partnering agreement with Step 30 in Kenya, whereby Step 30 will operate as a master-franchisee of EarthEnable for the purpose of training, quality assurance, and varnish distribution to micro-franchisees who will sell and build EarthEnable products in Step 30 operational areas in Western Kenya.

Partnership Goals

EarthEnable seeks:

  • Expertise on how to define impact metrics in a way that reflects growth and new visions

  • Expertise on accounting and financial reporting

  • Development of skills in modeling and design that allows EarthEnable to plan construction practices and sequences on diverse topographies. Training sessions, software packages, or consultations to support leveraging this technology to advance the EarthEnable mission.

Organization Type: Hybrid of for-profit and nonprofit

Headquarters: Kigali, Rwanda

Stage: Scale

Working In: Rwanda

Current Employees: 231


Solution Team:

to Top