The Star (Nairobi)

12 December 2012

Kenya: Hyacinth Weed to Be Removed Mechanically

MANUAL removal of hyacinth from Lake Victoria has been ruled out as experts resort to mechanical removal of the weed.

"Manual removal is not sustainable and we have resorted to mechanical and biological removal of hyacinth," said Raymond Mngodo, the Lake Victoria Environment Management Programme phase two regional coordinator.

He said: "The spread of the weed which covers nearly the whole of the Winam Gulf cannot be manually removed. That is why we have to mechanically harvesting it."

Speaking to a special media briefing on Lake Victoria Basin Commission at a Kakamega Hotel, Mngodo said research is being done on a lasting solution to the weed which is choking the lake.

Mngodo said Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania should come up with national plans on how to remove and control the weed. He said preparation of a regional water hyacinth surveillance and management strategy is under way.

Mngodo said the other priority of the organisation is reduce pollution in the lake and Mbita Causeway. Lake Victoria Basin Commission Programmes Officer Ali Said Matano the organisation supports the government's decision to do away with the causeway and replace it with a flyover. Matano said if the cause is removed, it will deal a blow to the weed.

"Once the causeway is removed, the quality of water will improve and the hyacinth will not survive," said Matano. The causeway impedes the natural direction of wind and mixing of water is minimised.

He said the government and LVBC are working on a joint effort to see how the causeway will be removed and build a flyover. Matano said 59 industries have joined the Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production programme whose is aim is to reduce effluent and industrial pollution into the lake.

He said about 30 industries participated in RECP Award event in Kisumu event where the best industries in adoption of cleaner production technologies were awarded.

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