Scientists Say Seeds Could Purify Water

Moringa flowers - the seeds of this versatile tree can be used to sterilise drinking water.  Credit: J.M. Garg/Wiki Commons

Moringa flowers - the seeds of this versatile tree can be used to sterilise drinking water. Credit: J.M. Garg/Wiki Commons

Water and sanitation experts are currently testing the extent to which seeds from a tree widely found in Zimbabwe can help purify water, according to scientists at Bulawayo’s National University of Science and Technology (NUST). If successful, this could be a major way to combat the current cholera epidemic within the country by making water safe to use and to drink.

So far in test have shown that seeds from the small Moinga Oliefera tree are effective in reducing water borne diseases and can correct the

Zimbabwe Cholera Map via World Health Organization

Zimbabwe Cholera Map via World Health Organization

acidity of water.

And Ellen Mangore from NUST says different purification scenarios still need further investigation for dosages and contact times, as well as verification of any potential toxicity.

But researchers  are hoping this will prove to be a simple and cost effective way to purify water for Zimbabweans because the tree is very tolerant within drought regions. The Moringa tree can live on as little as 500 millimeters of annual rainfall.

  • ***Also: The project was based on Sudan, where some people are pounding the seeds or using them whole¬† to treat water.
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