The use of indigenous plant species for drinking water treatment in developing countries: a review. Journal of Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences (JBES), Sept 2014.
Moa Megersa, Abebe Beyene, Argaw Ambelu, Bizuneh Woldeab. Department of Environmental Health Science and Technology, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia
Although universal access to safe and piped water is an important long-term solution, it is very expensive and challenging to implement in developing countries in the short term. Hence, improving both physicochemical and microbiological quality of drinking water at a household level is believed to be effective in preventing infectious diarrhea. There are a number of household water treatment technologies proven to be effective in coagulation and disinfection. At present, a number of effective coagulants and disinfectants have been identified of plant origin.
Of the large number of plant materials that have been used over the years, the seeds from Moringa oleifera have been shown to be one of the most effective primary coagulants for water treatment, especially in ruralcommunities. In addition, indigenous knowledge indicates that there are several plant species that can be used as a coagulant and disinfectant. Out of which seeds of Prosopis juliflora, Dolichos lablab and leaves of Opuntia ficus indica showed effectiveness in coagulation. Although, plant species have enormous advantage in water treatment, they also have limitation. The major limitation is the release of organic matter and nutrients to apply at large scale. From these review, it can be concluded that plant species have the potential to serve as a complementary water treatment agent especially in rural areas.