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Scientists at Bulawayo’s National University of Science and Technology (NUST) have embarked on research to develop simple and affordable water purification methods, as more than a billion people live without safe drinking water in developing countries.

Water and sanitation experts are currently investigating if a powder made from the seeds of the Moringa Oleifera, commonly known as the drumstick or horseradish tree, can be used as a filter to purify water.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, only a third of the population has access to clean drinking water, according to United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF. Water-borne diseases kill an estimated five million people a year, many of them children.

The situation is particularly dire in Zimbabwe, where the economic meltdown has led to a breakdown in water service provision and infrastructure. Resulting water contamination and poor water treatment have caused major health issues.

A combination of chemical and bacteriological pollution of water resources presents a particular problem in Zimbabwe. Deep wells and boreholes are often subjected to chemical contamination, whilst in shallow wells bacteriological and physical contamination dominates.

So far, the treatment of water with Moringa seed powder has proven to be an effective method of reducing water-borne diseases and correct pH.

Source: IPS News

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