South African develops 'waterless bath'
10 January 2013
Imagine taking a bath anywhere, at any time, without using the traditional method of
Now it is possible, thanks to a young South African entrepreneur who
developed a product that allows people who have limited access to water to
maintain their standards of hygiene.
Ludwick Marishane hails originally from Motetema on the border of Limpopo and
Mpumalanga, a town located not too far from the small Kwaggavoetpad Nature
Reserve. Heís just completed his fourth year as a commerce student at the
University of Cape Town.
His product, called DryBath, is a clear germicidal and moisturising gel thatís applied to
skin in the manner of waterless hand cleaners, although it has a sweet aroma rather
than the distinctive alcohol smell of the latter.
'Doing the work of soap and water'
DryBath does the work of water and soap and it earned Marishane the 2011 Global
Student Entrepreneur of the Year
Award, with a US$10 000 (about R86 000) prize to
The product has positive implications for millions of people in Africa and other parts
of the developing world where lack of regular access to clean water leads to reduced
basic hygiene and a lower quality of life.
Children, for example, often have to walk for hours to fetch clean water, which
detracts from the time they can spend at school, doing homework or just playing.
To show solidarity for and raise awareness of the millions of affected people,
Marishane is organising a no-bath weekend from 5 to 7 July, which will coincide with
the fourth anniversary of the invention of DryBath.
His main goal is to get 10-million people to hygienically skip a bath once a week
during 2013, even if they donít use DryBath, and save the precious resource of
DryBath is manufactured by Western Cape-based gel cosmetic specialists BioEarth
Labs for HeadBoy Industries, the company started
by Marishane to develop and
market the product.
Laziness leads to inspiration
Marishane grew up in rural Limpopo, where as a 17-year-old he was chatting one day
with a close friend, discussing typical teenage topics and sunbathing in the winter
Full of imagination, the friend asked: "Why can't they invent something that you can
just apply to your skin so that you donít have to take a bath nor shower?"
Marishane felt the same way, and that planted the seed that would germinate into
"I came up with this idea all because I didnít feel like taking a bath," he joked.
Although he only had high school science knowledge, Marishane got onto the
internet via his mobile phone and researched statistics on water access, as well as
the composition and manufacture of lotions and creams.
He finally came up with a formula. Some months later and after much
experimentation, he held a bottle of DryBath in his hand and went
on to obtain a
patent through his company.
One 20ml DryBath sachet can do the work of one bath, and Marishane claims it
saves about 80 litres of water on average with every use.
Access to water is crucial
During his research he found out that over 2.5-billion people in the world live without
access to clean water Ė 450-millon of which are in Africa and five-million in South
Continued research revealed that sanitation-related diseases are often found within
these poor areas and the lack of water is one of the main causes of the infections.
Saving water is a job that everyone needs to focus on. But there are many areas
around the world that have no access to safe water, or any water at all, and people
often have to walk long distances to get fresh water.
Living without water can also lead to death, as waterborne diseases such as cholera,
dysentery, typhoid and schistosomiasis are found in areas that lack clean
Trachoma, a disease caused by dirt getting into the eye through agents such as flies
or towels, affects 350-million people and leaves eight-million of them permanently
blind through recurring infection.
According to Water.org
, nearly 10% of
the global disease burden could be reduced through improved water supply,
sanitation, hygiene and water resource management.
Getting the product out there
Marishane first approached charity organisations for support, but says he was turned
back because of his age and because of doubt that his concept would ever work.
Back at the drawing board, he put together a lengthy and detailed proposal Ė all
done on his trusty Nokia.
With paper in hand, he approached the corporate world in search of sponsors,
endorsements and investors;since then, he has struck up partnerships with WaterAid
DryBath is now also manufactured
commercially for clients such as hotels, music
festival organisers, major global airlines Ė one of which is British Airways Ė and
governments for soldiers in the field.
Itís not yet available for consumer use but Marishane says it will soon be sold online.
First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com - get free high-resolution photos and
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