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Is the state serious about removing water hyacinth from Lake Victoria?

By The Standard | April 12th 2017
Water hyacinth at Lake Victoria PHOTO:COURTESY

The hyacinth menace has metamorphosed into a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions and the Government is not serious in helping the situation.

The current state of affairs is an indictment of the leadership at both national and county levels. Ideally, both levels of government have a responsibility over the Lake waters within Kenya’s territory.

Whereas the national government has, for understandable political reasons, continued to pay lip service to the eradication of the water hyacinth, the county governments of Kisumu, Siaya, Busia, Homa Bay and Migori have no excuse whatsoever for their inaction. As we speak, economic life along the Lake has come to a standstill.

The economy of the Lake region is losing hundreds of millions of shillings daily due to the inaccessibility of the Lake.

Yet there’s more than enough appropriate technology internationally that can be employed to tackle the water hyacinth problem once and for all.

With the collapse of the cotton industry many years back and the dwindling fortunes of the sugar industry, the fish industry was the only remaining significant source of livelihood to the people of this region. Its imminent death under the choking weight of the water hyacinth spells doom.

In view of the foregoing, there’s probably only one way forward. The governments of the five lake counties must wake up from their deep slumber. There’s an urgent need for the five county governments to establish a joint commission to deal with this catastrophe in a holistic manner.


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