The soap that cleans rivers

The pollution of rivers and lagoons can have serious repercussions on the environment. Could village from the highlands might help ?


Tissue Engineering and Synthetic Biology Laboratory Assistant
Bioengineering Department

In third world countries, like ours, access to clean water continues to be a dream for most citizens. According to the National Household Survey 2020 (ENAHO) of the INEI, more than 3.6 million Peruvians do not have access to drinking water. In the Andean areas, rivers and lagoons continue to be used as the only source of water, which is why many towns are built close to the rivers and it is of the utmost importance that they remain free of pollutants or chemical residues.

It is customary in some places in Latin America, Asia and Africa to wash clothes in river beds. It is considered as a way of socializing among the women of the community. For this, conventional soaps are used, which pollute the water, making it less and less suitable for human consumption. Since in many cases the water is only boiled and then consumed without any previous filtration process.

The company Andea together with funding from Fahrenheit DDB and researchers from the company CIRSYS created a soap that they claim will help keep rivers free of pollutants. AWA.

Picture 1 : AWA SOAP
Source : Proyect AWA

AWA is a soap made from microorganisms that have a probiotic function. These microorganisms are released when they come into contact with water and feed on pollutants. Reducing nitrate and ammonium levels.

According to Andea, water samples taken before and after using AWA soap indicate that the water quality improved by up to 75%. This could improve not only the lagoons where it is been used, but also the ones that are connect them to it. Its well know that the higher the altitud of this river s the more connection might have not only with small lagoons but with grown water than are also available for the highlands community through wells

Picture 2: Women of the highlands washing her clothes using AWA
source: Proyect ANDEAN

The soap has been distributed free of charge to some villagers. Now, while they wash the clothes, they also clean the rivers. Likewise, Andea currently offers the formula of this soap to companies or NGOs that want to reproduce and distribute it for free among the communities.

Bibliographic references:

More posts