We are Elrha, a force for change in the humanitarian community. The research and innovation we support equips the humanitarian community with the knowledge of what works, so people affected by crises get the right help when they need it most.
Our purpose is clear: to empower the humanitarian community to improve humanitarian response. We make this happen by supporting and championing the outcomes of robust research and proven innovations.
We empower the humanitarian community. Find out how we can support you...

What is the humanitarian need?

Enough body of evidence has demonstrated the positive impact that practising good hygiene can have on health and beyond. Since human faeces are the primary source of pathogens causing diarrhoea, handwashing with soap at key moments is crucial to intervene in the transmission cycle and evidence has shown that it can contribute to a 40% reduction in diarrhoea. The short supply of soap and water in some contexts, drastically affects hygiene practices, mainly handwashing. These contexts refer to arid environments or to scenarios where water supply or soap are unavailable and where Moringa can grow.

What is the innovative solution?

Moringa Oleifera has great potential as a handwashing product for settings where water is scarce or soap is not available – which create a barrier to maintaining adequate hygiene. The idea is not to compete with traditional soap, but to complement it and offer an alternative in scenarios where soap and/or water are scarce.

What are the expected outcomes?

The main outcomes of the study will be:

  1. to provide evidence of the efficacy of different Moringa products in reducing bacteria on dirty hands;
  2. to confirm the acceptability, socio-cultural desirability and feasibility of Moringa leaves among volunteers and members of the community;
  3. to assess the viability by studying the Market and Value Chain; and
  4. to design a business model to prepare the baseline for the implementation of an Income Generation Activity project (in another phase, out of this project scope).

Latest Updates

Final report published

Mar 2018

The final project report provides information on the methodology, activities, outputs, impact and dissemination of learning.

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2018Mar

The study produces its first findings

Dec 2017

Research begins and experiments suggest that in its unprocessed or minimally processed form M. oleifera is not an effective antimicrobial against faecal indicator bacteria.

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2017Dec

Related Resources

Article, Peer Reviewed Water, sanitation & hygiene

Evaluation of Key Antimicrobial Properties of Moringa oleifera in Relation to Its Use as a Hand-Washing Product

Report Water, sanitation & hygiene

Final Phase 1 Report: Moringa Leaves As Handwashing Product For Water And Soap Scarce Contexts

What doesn’t kill you: let’s talk about failure

Read what our Senior Innovation Manager Cecilie has to say about this projects, and the role 'good failure' can play in innovation.

Read now

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