Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lake Victoria Chokes under the Water Hyacinth

Water hyacinth was introduced to Africa over a century ago, but it did not become a problem in Lake Victoria until the early 1990s.
It covered substantial areas of the coastline, particularly in Uganda, blocking waterways, disrupting hydro-power, and decreasing the profitability of fishing.
Hyacinth also provided refugia for some species from the introduced Nile Perch. It largely disappeared from the Lake in the late 90s, perhaps, but not clearly, due to the introduction of a weevil used for biological control. It experienced a resurgence in the early 2000s.
Now following a wet year, which increased nutrient runoff into the lake in 2010, the spread of the weed has been tremendous covering the largest bit of the lake.
Currently, the lakes pollution has been worsened by the continuous rotting hyacinth that has made this water pathetic to the lakeside communities.
HomaBay residents stand out to be the most affected since they rely on the lake as the source of their daily income and for drinking water too. As per the current situation, the economic standard of this town has dropped by almost 35% as compared to 1992.

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