Sewage pollution and deforestation blamed for resurgence of hyacinth on Lake Victoria
Friday, November 05, 1999
The East African Standard (Nairobi,Kenya). By Franklin Awori
Heavy discharge of raw sawer into Lake Victoria has contributed significantly to the resurgence of the water hyacinth in the lake, a leading hyacinth researcher has said
Mr Stephen Njoka of Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (Kari) said the discharge from municipalities along the shores of the lake has provided nutrients for faster reproduction of the weed.
"We have reports that most of the municipals among them Entebbes, Kisumu and Homa Bay are discharging raw sewer into the lake," he said.
Kisumu and Homa Bay municipalities were recently taken to court for discharging raw sewer into the lake.
He told a Lake Victoria environmental journalists meeting that the sale of the hyacinth on the streets of Nairobi and other towns as an ornamental plant was contributing to the spread of the weed. "We need strong legislative intervention to ensure the weed is not traded as an ornamental plant due to its devastating effect. Our aim is to control it, so that it causes minimum damage," he said.
He told the meeting organised by World Conservation Union that the weed mass had been reduced from 6,000 hectares in 1996 to about 500 hectares in 2000 through biological and mechanical control.