Kunfunadhoo is a 50-hectare island with a lush tropical forest and a single sustainable luxurious resort (Soneva Fushi) made up of 71 visitor villas. The one individuals who reside on the unique resort island are Soneva Fushi workers – about 400 folks.

Soneva Fushi has been collaborating with an organization main in worldwide mosquito management analysis (referred to as Biogents) since June 2019 to introduce a sustainable insecticide-free mosquito administration system. Soneva Fushi’s Zero Mosquito undertaking goals to eradicate mosquitoes on Kunfunadhoo (Baa Atoll, Maldives) and enhance biodiversity whereas eliminating using dangerous pesticides.

Sonu Shivdasani, Soneva Fushi’s founder, and CEO advised Globetrender why his luxurious eco-resort is eliminating mosquitoes throughout the Maldives island with out using chemical compounds:

Think about a Maldives with out dengue fever. Think about the Maldives with out chikungunya. Think about taking your kids for a night stroll with out having to concern being bitten by mosquitoes. In brief, think about the Maldives with out mosquitoes.

 

This now not must be a dream – it’s quick turning into a actuality. Up to now 15 months, the mosquito inhabitants at Soneva Fushi on Baa Atoll Kunfunadhoo has collapsed by 98%. Over the identical interval, we stopped all chemical fogging.

Kunfunadhoo, Maldives, To Become World's First Mosquito-Free Island
(Credit score: Soneva Fushi)

They need this undertaking to function a mannequin that may be replicated on different island locations. The objective is to cut back mosquito-borne illnesses finally.

Shivdasani mentioned:

No person ought to should undergo the heartache of watching a cherished one battle dengue fever. The revolutionary strategy to pest management adopted at Soneva Fushi demonstrates that we will – island by island, atoll by atoll – rid the Maldives of the menace of mosquitoes.

The usage of chemical fogging to handle the mosquito inhabitants is a typical strategy at many resorts within the Maldives – Sovenva Fuhi was amongst them. Nevertheless, they realized that the mosquitos constructed a resistance to the therapy, rendering it ineffective.

Shivdasani mentioned:

Chemical fogging has been executed a lot within the Maldives over the previous a long time that mosquitoes have constructed up a rare degree of resistance to the chemical compounds used. Earlier than we began our mosquito lure initiative on Soneva Fushi, we used normal WHO insecticide-resistance assays. We discovered, to our shock, that the chemical compounds we sprayed yr after yr, at a excessive price, killed lower than 25% of the uncovered mosquitoes.

Furthermore, fogging was additionally lowering the variety of different bugs, together with beetles, bumblebees, butterflies, dragonflies, and extra. However now, with the brand new chemical-free system, biodiversity is booming. The return of pure pollinators has resulted in additional flowers and fruits, which has introduced extra birds to the island. Even fireflies are noticed within the night time sky as soon as once more! And the natural gardens that produce meals for the eating places are flourishing.

Since Kunfunadhoo has no freshwater aquatic ecosystems the place mosquito larvae are a mandatory a part of the meals chain, eliminating mosquitos from the island received’t affect the ecosystem.

Kunfunadhoo, Maldives, To Become World's First Mosquito-Free Island
(Credit score: Soneva Fushi)

So how does the system work? There are two sorts of mosquito traps deployed throughout the island – over 500 altogether. The 2 traps are:

  • The BG-GAT is a passive lure that targets egg-laying tiger mosquitos which have already bitten somebody and seek for a spot to put eggs.
  • The BG-Mosquitaire CO2 attracts blood-thirsty mosquitos by emitting an aroma of carbon dioxide combined with lactic acid. The CO2 within the lure is produced by yeast and sugar fermentation. Usually people breathe it out. The lactic acid people emanate from the pores and skin. The mixed odor is an irresistible aroma mosquitoes mistake for a human.

Moreover, Bart Knols and Akib Jahir (Soneva’s mosquito-hunters-in-chief) scour the island for mosquito breeding websites and destroy them. That means, they go round eradicating swimming pools of stagnant water and objects like tarpaulins, coconut shells, or flowerpot saucers that would acquire water.

The undertaking prices $87,000 per yr, which is $23,000 lower than the pest administration firm’s annual payment.
The partnership goals to point out the worldwide neighborhood that its potential to deliver the mosquito inhabitants to zero with out utilizing insecticide.

Shivdasani mentioned:

By across the finish of the yr, Soneva Fushi hopes to get rid of the few remaining mosquitoes and declare itself the Maldives’ first ‘mosquito-free island.’

 

If Soneva Fushi – a giant jungly island with numerous folks – can go mosquito-free, then absolutely each different Maldivian island can too. We now have already began implementing the brand new mosquito management strategies at Soneva Jani in Noonu atoll – which can hopefully develop into the second island within the Maldives to declare itself ‘mosquito-free.’

Soneva’s goal is for Kunfunadhoo to be mosquito-free by the top of April 2021.