We know that EVERYONE, no matter where they live, should have access to clean drinking water, but this is just not the case. A lack of clean drinking water affects everything: overall health and immune systems are compromised, adults and children who are sick are unable to work or attend school, water-borne diseases are a major cause of death in children under 5 years of age, and the list goes on.
We are working to change all of this.
One of the scientifically proven attributes of moringa is that the seeds have the ability to remove over 90% of the impurities in contaminated drinking water. As part of our Peer Educator training we teach a simple stirring method that accomplishes this incredible improvement through a coagulation process. Not all of the people we train struggle with access to clean drinking water, but they all know someone who does.
You can see the amazing difference that moringa seed powder makes in removing impurities from dirty water in the photos above. While improving unsafe drinking water by over 90% is a great improvement, we’ve been looking for ways to do even better. We learned about a new method from Dr. Stephanie Velegol at Penn State University. She and her team have developed a process using moringa seed powder and sand, which is called functionalized sand (f-sand), to make a simple water ﬁlter that, in the laboratory, puriﬁes water to 99.99%! That’s the same purity level as bottled water.
At Strong Harvest we are working to develop a village-level sand water ﬁlter using this moringa seed process. Volunteers Chris and Steve (in the photos above), started us oﬀ with preliminary process testing.
In each country that we work, these water filters will look different based on the available supplies and materials. In Nicaragua, we purchased some of the clay pots that people in the village already use to store their drinking water. In the photo on the left, the water comes from a small creek down the hill from the family’s home.
Lesly, our Country Coordinator in Nicaragua, has been experimenting with the pots we purchased in order to develop a working prototype of a moringa-sand water filter.
We would love to have your input – do you have experience with in-home sand water filters? Have you been successful? Any knowledge you can share with us about your successes (and failures!) would be most welcome.
Our goal is to create a moringa-sand water ﬁlter that is easy to build and maintain using locally available and aﬀordable materials. This will provide a way for people in remote areas to have access to pure drinking water through a method that is attainable, sustainable, and replicable with resources that are readily available.
We’re looking forward to teaching parents how to use moringa to provide pure drinking water for their families, empowering them to protect the health of their children!