The impact of community partnership approach to water hyacinth control : a case study of Lake Victoria

Ondeng, Monica
Owiti, Fanuel
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Strathmore University
Water hyacinth is a free-floating perennial plant that can grow to a height of 3 feet. The dark green leave blades are circular to elliptical in shape attached to a spongy, inflated petiole and thick heavily branched, dark fibrous root system. Water hyacinth is a very aggressive invader forming thick mats which cover the entire surface of the lake causing oxygen depletions and hindering the multiplication of fish in the Lake. It has affected water sports, water transport and fishing in Lake Victoria. Due to water hyacinth coverage in the lake, there have been no significant water sports yet this is one of the most important tourist attractions in the region. Water transport has also been affected through the complete coverage with the green leaves of water hyacinth that have spread all over the water surface, while fishing has been greatly affected due its occupation and oxygen depletions. However, with proper community partnership approach, this menace can be turned into positive entrepreneurial activities like manufacturing of organic manure, biogas, crafting of furniture and beauty products for supply to the hospitality and tourism industry. This paper will identify various community partnership approaches that can be used to control water hyacinth from Lake Victoria, hence impacting positively to the local community both economically, socially, and environmentally within Lake Region.
Conference paper presented at the 1st African Conference on Sustainable Tourism in Strathmore University, Kenya.
water hyacinth control, Community partnership, Lake Victoria, Tourism