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Edition 03 : 04  August, 2010.

Edition 05 : 29 July, 2013.





Moringa filters are improved traditional bio-sand filters, which can already be adapted to filter arsenic by the addition of a layer of rusted nail in the diffuser basin. The rust absorbs arsenic from water and flakes off the nails, which are then  trapped by the sand layer. (Beya, S., Humble filter makes a comeback, Down to Earth Magazine, Society for Environmental Communications, New Delhi,  31st January 2013.)


Locally built Moringa sand filters for water purification


The 13 known species of Moringa or horseradish trees have interesting properties for use in integrated development projects. All parts of the trees, which grow quickly in almost any soil conditions, have useful applications. The specific application dealt with in this section  is water purification in conjunction with biosand filters. The seed of the Moringa tree, and of the species Moringa Oleifera in particular, has recognised  medicinal properties. Diaphragms made from crushed Moringa seed fibres, following extraction of the 40% of valuable oil contained in the seeds, are placed on top of a locally built biosand filter. Water which has passed through these filters is clean and fit for direct human consumption. Within the framework of sustainable integrated development projects under the Model here presented, Moringa biosand filters can be used by the inhabitants of the project area to filter harvested rainwater as back-up for their normal clean drinking water supplies.  


In emergencies, Moringa seed milk can be used to purify drinking water where  biosand filters are not available. 


Some information on the Moringa (Horseradish) tree.


General information on the Moringa Oleifera (Horseradish) tree.


How to grow Moringa trees (Trees for Life).



Biosand filters.  


Information on BioSand filters (Tear Fund).



                        Construction of biosand filters.


How to make a Moringa biosand filter.



How to prepare the Moringa seed paste for  the diaphragm.


Crush the seed kernels to extract the oil, which can be used for food, for cooking, for soap-making or other applications. This can be done by hand or mechnically.

The seed cake left is then mixed with a small quantity of water to form a paste. About 6000mg of ground moringa seeds should be used with one liter of water  for this purpose.


Form a 2cm thick layer of the paste on top of  the biosandfilter materials.

Add water through the diffuser plate in the biosand filter and agitate/stir regularly thereafter.

The moringa paste should be stirred once in a day for 5-10 minutes once water is being filtered.

The 2cm paste layer should be removed  (and replaced) at least every 7-14 days. The preferred thickness of 2cm model optimises performance and checks the likely retardation in water passage (plugging) of the biosand filter. 

It is not necessary to add proprietary chemicals like chlorine to biosand filters fitted with a 2cm layer of moringa seed paste. The effective coagulation properties of the moringa oleifera paste makes post filtration chlorination unnecessary.



How to prepare Moringa seed milk  to purify drinking water in emergencies.


Allow the moringa seed pods to dry naturally on the tree before harvesting them.
Remove the moringa seed husks, leaving a whitish kernel.
Crush the seed kernel to a powder with a stone or a mortar.
Mix the powder with a small quantity of clean water in a small cup.
Pour the mixture through a tea strainer or sieve into a cup. It's best to cover the strainer with a piece of clean cloth.
Add the resulting milky fluid to the water you wish to purify.
Stir quickly for 30 seconds, then slowly and regularly for 5 minutes.
Cover the water and do not disturb it for at least an hour.
The clean water may be siphoned off the top of the container.

For more information on Moringa sand filters refer to:


The Rural African Water Development Project in Nigeria and the status of the introduction of the Moringa Sand Filter there.


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Bakens Verzet homepage 



"Money is not the key that opens the gates of the market but the bolt that bars them."

Gesell, Silvio, The Natural Economic Order, revised English edition, Peter Owen, London 1958, page 228


“Poverty is created scarcity”

Wahu Kaara, point 8 of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, 58th annual NGO Conference, United Nations, New York 7th September 2005.


"In the end, it's about love for mankind. Freedom begins with love.

Our challenge is to learn to love the world"

Nigerian writer Ben Okri, interview in Ode Magazine, Dec 2002-Jan 2003, p.49


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