Thursday, February 10, 2011

“Magic tree seeds” and Clean Water

“Magic tree seeds” to purify dirty water

Photo: Courtesy of Educational Concerns For Hunger Organization: Water before being treated and afterwards

10 February 2011 (IRIN) - One solution to the water woes of many of the world’s poor may lie in the pea-sized seeds of the widely grown Moringa oleifera tree, experts say.

“The Moringa oleifera [seed technique] can be an important, sustainable and affordable method towards waterborne disease reduction and can improve the quality of life for a large proportion of the poor,” Micheal Lea, author and researcher with Clearinghouse, an Ottawa-based organization researching low-cost water purification technologies, told IRIN.

According to Lea’s 2010 publication, seeds from the Moringa, a tree (also described as a shrub) which grows in Africa, Central and South America, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, can be crushed into a powder and mixed with surface water to produce a 90-99 percent bacterial reduction, making untreated water safely drinkable.

The technique is not new. Communities in Sudan have been using the multi-purpose Moringa tree as a source of food and as a water purifier for centuries.

The plant is fast-growing, nutritious, edible and drought resistant, and can be grown in your backyard. Its seeds are soft and can be crushed using everyday tools, such as a spoon and a bowl.

The ability to purify water using such accessible techniques, and others has significant life-saving potential. {continued}

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