Solar kits to boost war on malaria

A group of local and foreign researchers have developed a plan to eradicate malaria from a Kenyan island without using insecticides.

The solar powered mosquito trap is part of a three-in-one idea that will also provide residents of Rusinga Island with sustainable electricity.

Each house is fitted with a rooftop solar panel, two light fixtures and a charging point for mobile phones.

Dubbed SolarMal, the trial project which begun in February 2012, is led by Prof Willem Takken of Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Dr Richard Mukabana of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology.

The project targets more than 4,200 homesteads in the next four years.

REDUCE DEPENDENCY

The concept is to lure mosquitoes into traps using nylon strips thereby reducing dependency on insecticides.

Dr Mukabana says: “Malaria is a problem, especially for the 30,000 people in Rusinga Island. The daily trapping of mosquitoes leads to a gradual decline in their population, so people will receive fewer mosquito bites and leading to fewer malaria cases.”

SolarMal was started to combat malaria after the failure of another project that aimed at distributing more than 10 million mosquito nets.

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