On Sunday, A community-based organization known as The Sea Weed Aquatic Lake Services (SWALS) introduced a simple technology that could see Lake Victoria liberated from the hyacinth weed.
The organization will use a new simple technique known as Grazer. According to Patrick Odhiambo, the SWALS chairman, It uses a particular buoyant net which is embedded to stout ropes that are usually pulled by a motorboat. Before being pulled the net should encircle a specific dimension of the weed. The weed is then drawn to the shores of the lake where a lorry is waiting ready to dispose of them in designated dumpsites.
Odhiambo claims that the 9900-meter grazer they have can clear the weed in Winam Gulf entirely within three months.
“The grazer is a product of a team of local experts who have the privilege of foreign exposure backed by a wealth of local ecological, historical knowledge in lake clean-up and therefore knows what’s best suited in our case,” Said Odhiambo.
He also stated that the product had been tested in various water bodies including Nairobi dam, Nairobi River, Lwang’ni, Paga, and Lwanda Koteino beaches.
As for the ongoing plan to use large vessels to dredge the lake, Odhiambo cautioned that it could disrupt the natural ecosystem of water animals and could even result in deaths of many fish.
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He is very confident that if Ksh. 80 million can be allocated to the project, his method can clear the weed from Winam Gulf to restore its glory. However, he has not received any funds even after approaching several local leaders.
About three months ago, the government started a massive operation to clean up the lake through a dredging vessel. The vessel would revive fishing and maritime activities in parts of the lakes which were choked by the growth of water hyacinth.