Moringa as a household water purification method – community perception and pilot study in Guinea-Bissau

Aducabe Bancessi*, Rosa Teodósio, Elizabeth Duarte, Aladje Baldé, Luís Catarino, Teresa Nazareth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Public perceptions of water-related issues are still under-researched topics. The current paper intends to explore a local community’s perceptions regarding household water purification (HWP) strategies, namely before and after trying a new method: moringa seeds powder (moringa-teabag). Methods: In September 2020, six focus group discussions (N = 65) assessing perceptions about the usefulness of Moringa oleifera Lam (Moringaceae) as a HWP method (before moringa-based HWP trials), and questionnaires (N = 104) evaluating successes and identifying difficulties (after one week of moringa-based HWP trials). Participants were all women aged over 18 years, living in Ondame, Biombo region, Guinea-Bissau. Data were analyzed using qualitative and quantitative approaches. Results: The focus group discussions revealed that people are aware of the fact that water can transmit diseases. Although certain persons showed concern about shallow well water safety, people generally underestimate the risk, as they trust tubewell water. Not everyone had an understanding of what water contamination is, or the concept of medical importance. Some respondents declared they use traditional methods such as boiling and bleach to treat water before drinking. However, those who reported no kind of treatment indicated reasons such as lack of time, cost, and bleach’s taste and smell. In the questionnaire, more than half of the participants (68%) reported treating water before consumption. Nevertheless, these results are not consistent with our field notes. Participants demonstrated a strong belief in the capacity of moringa-teabags to purify water and even consider them better or much better (81%) than other methods. Participants asked for more information on moringa-teabag for household water purification. Conclusion: More information on water treatment and water safety would help to raise public awareness about waterborne diseases. These findings could be used to promote greater adherence to moringa-based HWP as an alternative to household water treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1953
Number of pages15
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2022


  • Belief
  • Drinking water
  • Moringa
  • Perceptions
  • Water treatment


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