In the West we turn on the tap and get pure, clean drinking water. However, approximately 1.1 billion people in rural and peri-urban communities of developing countries do not have access to safe drinking water. The mortality from diarrhoea-related diseases amounts to approx 2.2 million people each year from the consumption of unsafe water.1 That is one person every twelve minutes…
Michael Lea (whom I cannot find out much about on the internet) has published a paper (click here for the paper) which involves using an unlikely natural way of removing impurities from drinking water….
The oily Moringa tree is abundant in the tropics. It’s seeds can be crushed and used to remove impurities from the water (including bacteria).
“In the Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams described his fictional creation, the all language-translating Babel fish, as being something ‘so mindbogglingly useful’ that it seemed almost inconceivable that it could have evolved by chance.”2 – is the same true for this tree.
Well, the tree contains unusual polypeptides that can bind to impurities, causing them to club together and sink to the bottom of the storage vessel.
The instructions can be freely downloaded and are being distributed to people who are in need of them most.
You are quite a hero Michael!
1 http://www.currentprotocols.com/protocol/mc01g01 accessed on 11th June 2010
2 http://blogs.currentprotocols.com/2010/03/05/michael-lea-moringa-oleifera-tree-low-cost-water-purification/ accessed on 11th June 2010
Main article adapted from an article in ‘Eureka’, a colour supplement issued once a month by the Times Newspapers Ltd