From the Series
It’s hard to view mosquitoes as a deadly animal, but Malaria infected mosquitoes kill more people than sharks, lions, or crocodiles. Every 30 seconds a child dies from Malaria, and for most of us, this is a harsh figure to grasp, especially considering that Malaria is a preventable disease. Moctar Dembélé and Gérard Niyondiko realised this problem and created a cost effective way to ensure even the poorest communities had access to Malaria preventative protection.
Faso soap, made in Burkina Faso, Africa, is made from natural easily accessible ingredients such as lemon grass, African marigold, and Shea tree.
"Soap is one product you can find in all African family homes, no matter how poor they are,” says Niyondiko.
The difference between Faso Soap and other repellents is that it does not require any change in behaviour because everyone uses soap. Other preventative products are either too expensive or limited in their use.
Faso soap also manages to attack the problem at its source. Stagnant waters are often the breeding ground for mosquitoes, but the leftover soapy water from Faso Soap reduces the development of mosquito larvae.
In 2013, Dembélé and Niyondiko became the first African winners of the Global Social Venture Competition at the University of California Berkeley. Since then, Faso Soap has been partnering with organisations and other NGOs to develop their product. The team launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the funds for lab equipment and further product tests.
The product is also manufactured inexpensively, making the repellant accessible to the poorest communities in Africa. The manufacturing process also creates jobs in Burkina Faso.
Dembélé and Niyondiko have one goal, to save 100 000 lives from Malaria by the end of 2018.