Mar 082010
 

Moringa Tree

“In the developing world, more than 1 billion people cannot get clean drinking water…

The United Nations says that dirty water causes 80 percent of diseases in the developing world, and kills 10 million people annually.” Those sobering lines are from the United Nations’ website, and underscore just how urgently needed water purification is in much of the world. What many people don’t realize, however, is that there are already naturally-occurring water filtration supplies available in many of these areas. They come in the form of seeds from the Moringa oleifera tree, and used properly, they can produce a 90.00 to 99.99% bacterial reduction in previously untreated water.

The drought-resistant Moringa has been described as the “world’s most useful tree”, as it produces cooking and lighting oil, soil fertilizer, and highly-nutritious food in the form of its pods, leaves, seeds and flowers. It is grown in Africa, India, South East Asia and Central and South America – all places that lack sufficient potable water.

It has been known for some time that its seeds can also be used to purify water, although that knowledge has never been widely disseminated, even amongst the locals. The purification technique has recently been written up in the scientific journal Current Protocols in Microbiology, and is being offered as a free download as part of publisher John Wiley and Sons’ Corporate Citizenship Initiative. It is hoped that by offering the technique is this widely-available format, communities that need the information will be better able to get it.

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