Moctar Dembele from Burkina Faso, and Gerard Niyondiko from Burundi, have invented a soap that repels mosquitos. Their invention, titled “Fasoaop” is made from shea butter, lemongrass oil, and other secret ingredients. The soap is said to leave a scent on the skin which repels mosquitoes.
“In addition, waste water products contain substances that prevent the development of mosquito larvae, because the sanitation problem in Africa is one of the causes of mosquito vectors of malaria,” said Niyondiko.
Malaria exists in 103 countries worldwide, affecting 3.3. billion people, but about 90% of malaria-related deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of those affected are children under the age of five.
“So we thought of a repellent and larvicidal mosquito soap which will be accessible and affordable to the majority of the population, seeing that soap is a commodity product and especially not going to add other additional costs to the population,” says Niyondiko.
Their invention earned them the $25,000 grand prize in the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC). This competition, created by Berkeley MBA students, is designed to help entrepreneurs from around the world create ideas with a positive impact. Niyondiko and Dembele came ahead of 650 other competitors from over 40 countries. This is the first time that Africans have won the competition.
“It is a feeling of joy and pride for us and for Africa in general,” said Niyondiko. “It also shows that in Africa we are not back(ward) and that Africa’s problems can be solved by Africans themselves.”