28 July, 2022 Member article

Engie Energy, PreMal Launch Solar-Powered Insecticide-Free Mosquito Traps

22 July 2022 – ARE Member Engie Energy Access and Dutch-based social enterprise PreMal, have partnered to launch a solar-powered mosquito trapping system in Kenya. This technology is a first in the largest economy in East Africa.

Christened MTego, the innovative outdoor mosquito trap, is designed to capture the malaria vectors without using insecticides – before they enter home, taking the war against malaria to the next level.

According to the Engie Kenya Country Director Fredrick Noballa, this new vector control technology is affordable, leverages clean energy, and 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 World Health Organisation reports that an estimated 241 million cases of malaria are reported every year worldwide, 627,000 of which result in deaths. Africa accounts for a high share of the global malaria burden at 95% of malaria cases and 96% of malaria deaths with children under 5 years accounting for about 80% of all malaria deaths in the Region. Center of Disease Control, in Kenya, estimates 3.5 million new clinical cases and 10,700 deaths each 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.

The odour baited trap, replicates human characteristics to attract mosquitoes. The technology employs a counter-airflow principal which uses an electric fan to create suction and emit a plume of odour.

“What this technology does is that it mimics human odour to lure host-seeking malaria mosquitoes which prevents 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.

When optimally placed, the 12V powered MTego has an attractive range of 100m2.

The bio-inspired environmental solution is a synthetic odour based on components present in human sweat. It is highly attractive to all human-biting mosquitoes, but imperceptible to human beings.

Lorenzo Fiori further said that cutting down mosquito population and fewer mosquito bites reduces the risk of transmission of malaria.