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Sonu Shivdasani Shares How a Mosquito-free Maldives is Now Possible

mosquito sucking blood
Imagine a Maldives without mosquitoes – This no longer needs to be a dream; it is fast becoming a reality.

Imagine a Maldives without dengue. Imagine a Maldives without chikungunya. Imagine taking your children for an evening stroll without having to fear being bitten by mosquitoes. In short, imagine a Maldives without mosquitoes.

This no longer needs to be a dream; it is fast becoming a reality. In the past 15 months, the mosquito population at Soneva Fushi, Baa atoll Kunfunadhoo, has collapsed by 98%. Over the same period, we stopped all chemical fogging. How did we make the seemingly impossible, possible?

The answer is a revolutionary, integrated approach to mosquito control, using traps instead of chemical fogging. Five hundred mosquito traps have been placed all over Soneva Fushi. The traps come in two types: the BG-GAT trap targets Asian tiger mosquitoes that have bitten someone and are searching for a place to lay eggs. A second trap, the BG-Mosquitaire, attracts mosquitoes searching for blood, by using a combination of carbon dioxide and lactic acid to make an irresistible aroma mosquitoes mistake for a human.

In addition to the traps, Soneva’s mosquito-hunters-in-chief, Bart Knols and Akib Jahir, scour the island removing pools of stagnant water where mosquitoes lay their eggs, often found in tarpaulins, coconut shells or flower pot saucers.

By around the end of the year, Soneva Fushi hopes to eliminate the few remaining mosquitoes and declare itself the Maldives’ first ‘mosquito free island’.

To reiterate the point, we’ve managed to do this without using chemical fogging. That’s because there’s a dirty little secret about mosquito fogging that nobody in the pest control industry that provides fogging services wants to talk about: fogging doesn’t really work.

Chemical fogging has been done so much in the Maldives over the past decades that mosquitoes have built up an extraordinary level of resistance to the chemicals used. Before we started our mosquito trap initiative on Soneva Fushi, we used standard WHO insecticide-resistance assays and found, to our shock, that the chemicals we sprayed year after year, at a high cost, killed less than 25% of the exposed mosquitoes.

There is another advantage to managing mosquitoes without using poisonous chemicals: biodiversity on the island is booming. Soneva Fushi now teems with native Maldivian insects such as butterflies, dragonflies, bumblebees and beetles. Since natural pollinators such as bees have come back in abundance, we’ve noticed more wildflowers and fruit bushes growing.

With the increase in insects and fruits on the island, more birds visit. Fireflies are once again spotted at night. There has also been an uptick in the production of the organic gardens that produce food for our restaurants.

Written by: Sonu Shivdasani, Founder and CEO of Soneva

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Meet Adam Afsan: The New Director of Sales at Siyam World

Siyam World announces the promotion of Adam Afsan to Director of Sales at the resort!

Adams joined Siyam World in April 2021 with an extensive career spanning over a decade in the hospitality industry. Originally joining Siyam World as the Assistant Director of Sales & Marketing, Adam is now starting his journey as Director of Sales at the resort. With this appointment, Adam brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his new role.

Adam’s Journey

Adam has held positions at several esteemed resorts. From 2017 to 2018, he held the position of Director of Revenue at Kanuhura. Here, he successfully implemented revenue management strategies to maximise profitability. In addition to this, Adam also spent almost 5 years at Six Senses Laamu. At this resort, he worked as a Reservations Executive and progressed to various roles including Assistant Reservations Manager, Reservations Manager, Revenue Manager, and ultimately Sales Manager.

Adam also has experience working with the renowned brand Soneva, where he played a pivotal role in driving revenue growth and enhancing brand visibility.

We are thrilled to announce Adan Afsan’s promotion to Director of Sales at Siyam World. Adan’s proven track record of driving results and his deep understanding of the hospitality industry make him the idea candidate to lead our sales and marketing efforts. We are confidents that under his leadership, Siyam World will continue to thrive and reach new heights of success, says Deepak Booneady – CEO at Sun Siyam Resorts.

In his new capacity as Director of Sales at Siyam World, Adam will lead the sales and marketing team in the Maldives. He will be responsible for crafting and executing robust sales and marketing strategies to drive business growth.

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