First Kenyan Solar-Powered Mosquito Traps Unveiled
Global energy and services group Engie Energy Access and Dutch-based social enterprise PreMal, have partnered to innovate the first ever solar-powered mosquito trapping system in Kenya.
The trapping system, dubbed ‘MTego’ is also the first of its kind in the whole of East Africa that seeks to revolutionalize the war against Malaria.
MTego is an outdoor mosquito trap that captures insects before they enter homes without the use of insecticides.
It uses the odor-bait trap philosophy through counter–airflow technology principle where an electric fan creates suction and emits a plume of human body odour based on components of human sweat to attract the insects.
“What this technology does is that it mimics human odour to lure host-seeking malaria mosquitoes which prevent them from flying indoors. The Mosquitoes follow the odour plume to the source and, on approach, are sucked into a catch-pot and killed by dehydration,” said PreMal co-founder Lorenzo Fiori.
Fiori notes that MTego has the capability of attracting mosquitos within a range of 100-metre squares when optimally placed under a 12 voltage power source.
He adds that the bio-inspired environmental solution is highly attractive to all human-biting mosquitoes but undetectable to human beings.
On his part, Engie Energy Access Kenya Country Director Fredrick Noballa said the technology is not only affordable but also leverages clean energy and is a game-changer for livelihoods in rural areas.
“Malaria causes an enormous drain on African economies, with countries spending huge sums of resources for the control of malaria – resources that could have been devoted to other productive sectors,” said Noballa.
The invention, Noballa says will save on resources that have long been used to combat the disease which has claimed over 10,700 deaths per year, according to the Center for Disease Control, in Kenya report.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the African continent accounts for the highest share of Malaria cases globally with 95 percent of the total estimated 241 million cases per year.
“To achieve malaria elimination in the country, we must empower households to acquire long-term sustainable solutions. MTego is a critical innovative enabler with a sizeable effectiveness radius that will keep the insects away and in effect ending malaria and helping Kenyans focus on income-generating activities and their welfare,” added Noballa.