(HOLLAND)

A Rwandan startup has won €500,000 in an international sustainability competition for its earthen home flooring.

EarthEnable was announced as the winner of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2017 at a ceremony in Amsterdam this month.

“Most people in developing countries live on dirt floors, which are a major cause of disease, discomfort and indignity. The only viable alternative on the market is cement, which is expensive and unsustainable,” explained the company’s co-founder, Gayatri Datar. “EarthEnable provides an alternative in the form of sustainable, clean, waterproof earthen flooring.”

She added: Being proclaimed as winner out of 515 entries is unbelievable. This is a really important strategic endorsement for us. With the prize money we plan to scale within Rwanda and likely in three other countries. The prize money gives us the opportunity to test different scaling models to find a viable scale strategy to improve the health and lives of millions of people who are still living on dirt floors.”

Danish startup Pond – which produces a biodegradable alternative for plastic – took second place and €200,00.