Water hyacinth threatens Lake Victoria's ecosystem: official




Water hyacinth, an invasive plant species, is choking Lake Victoria and threatening the lake's ecosystem and investments, including operations of ports, an official said on Sunday.

The Lake Victoria Basin Water Board communications officer, Perpetua Masaga, said the spreading of the water hyacinth in the lake shared by Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, also blocks smooth flowing of water into the lake from tributaries.

Masaga made the remarks during an exercise to remove the water hyacinth by environmental stakeholders along the lake's beaches in Tanzania's Mwanza region located on the southern shores of the lake.

"The water hyacinth in Lake Victoria is also posing a threat to fisheries and marine transport," said the official.

She said in 2017, the water hyacinth covered about 520 hectares of the lake but most of the invasive plant species was eliminated.

"Now we have observed that the water hyacinth is spreading faster again," said Masaga, calling on stakeholders to join forces in eliminating the invasive plant species.

Water hyacinth is an aquatic floating plant native to South America that has become a global freshwater scourge after being inadvertently transported worldwide.

It is believed to have first reached Lake Victoria in the 1990s, floating down the lake's western tributary, the Kagera River.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency