Uganda: Researchers Use Fruit Seeds to Purify Water

Paschal B. Bagonza
May 8, 2012

Researchers at Makerere University – Uganda’s oldest university are studying how to use fruit seeds to purify water.

Robert Natumanya, from Makerere University College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (MUCASES) is at the forefront of a research to enhance water purification by embracing green technology of using moringa, jackfruit and java plum (jambula) seeds.

Some of the seeds that are being used in this research

He says Makerere University funded this two year water purification research to the tune of US$ 5, 000.

The research aims at addressing the problem of lack of access to clean and safe drinking water.

According to Natumanya, after the final phase of the findings, they will disseminate the results.

He says there are plans to develop a kit from these findings so that it can be used at household levels, especially in rural areas where it can be cheap and easily available.

“We are trying to package the research findings so that we can make it available to people,” he adds.

Natumanya says “moringa seeds powder can remove 80-90% of dirtiness in water.”

He stresses that jackfruit seeds are better because of their medicinal property.

Natumanya says already Java plum seeds are used traditionally in Sudan to purify water, adding that all seeds have the ability to do so but this depends on protein content they have.

He explains that mature seeds are harvested, dried well to maintain their chemical nature, grounded to powder level and then extractions are made.

Solvents like distilled water and saline (salt solution) are mixed with the powder, filtered and a seed extract is gotten.

Natumanya further says that this green technology is easy because “plant materials are available in our homes.”

According to the College’s website, the technology is to be tested for another year to ensure its safety after which researchers will come up with recommendations on the usage and packaging.

Uganda’s water body, the National Water and Sewerage Corporation covers only 60%, living the 40% of the population without access to piped water.

Water Journalists Africa

Legitimately registered in Uganda, Water Journalists Africa was established in 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa with support from the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication. Water Journalists Africa has since 2011, partnered with various international and Africa based organizations such as the UN-Water, The Water Channel, Water Integrity Network, 2030 Water Resources Group and UNESCO-IHE among several others to enhance reporting on Integrated Water Resources Management in Africa and promote interaction among African Journalists who report on water. Some 700 journalists from 50 African countries to date are members of this network making it certainly the largest media network on the continent.

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