Rwandan school girls create a mosquito repellent soap

Picture courtesy New Times

Two girls from Rwanda, Sarah Benimana and Rachel Nikuze have created a soap that acts as a mosquito repellent.

The two attribute their interest in soap making to the Chemistry lessons in their former school Gashora Girls Academy, according to a report by the New Times.

“We became confident to go into production after we had tested the process and made soap. After further research, we thought of how we could make it practical in everyday life,” Benimana said.

Sarah Benimana and Rachel Nikuze used scientific techniques to purify the dirty water at their school and the Saponification process, where potassium salts come into contact with fatty acids that create soap to create their product. It was their power of observation that got them over the edge.

“Our school was also a haven of mosquitoes from the surrounding bushes. But we noticed that the mosquitoes never went close to the eucalyptus trees around the school…  That is when we came up with the idea of mixing the leaves from the tree with our liquid soap.” they said.

It is the perfumed body wash soap’s strong smell that keeps mosquitoes away.

It was a need to alleviate threats posed by mosquitoes that cause malaria and the Made in Rwanda campaign that inspired the two girls. They are working towards a partnership with Rwanda’s Ministry of Health with the confidence that mosquito repellent soaps are more effective than mosquito nets.

The two young entrepreneurs are struggling with the challenges of accessing financial support with their pocket money financing the project at the moment and accessing basic materials.

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