The face of L. Victoria has of late been given a full hyacinth make-up as seen from different spots along the lake’s shore. The Kisumu County Govt in conjunction with LVEMP though in the quest to see the weed eradicated there are a series of draw backs as we highlighted in this previous article.
Researchers are now giving this a new direction that might turn beneficial to local residents and potential money makers. Mr. Simon Mwaura, a scientist on a report published on a local daily says the much dreaded water weed is a key component in making organic fertilizer. The organic fertilizer is best in desert like conditions because it’s capable of holding water for a longer period and effective where there’s water scarcity.
He goes on to compare the rates at which a kg of hyacinth end product costs to tea and coffee, Kenya’s top exports. A kg of organic manure processed from the weed costs KES 225 compared to the current rates of coffee that keeps fluctuating. “After processing, hyacinth end product is better paying than what farmers are currently earning from a kg of tea or coffee” he said
The scholar through this initiative has been awarded a contract by the UAE (United Arab Emirates) to supply this organic fertilizer. He has since developed a weed processing machine through Hyaquip Kenya where he is the CEO. He says the company is making ground arrangements to engage and train locals on the process of weed harvesting and processing that shall see them have monetary benefits from the weed.
“Most of these aquatic weeds are so helpful elsewhere. For example the water hyacinth mixed with other wastes including maize cobs, rice and coffee husks, banana stalks and coffee pulp make a very good organic fertilizer, which is so much needed in the Middle East” he adds
Hyaquip Inc International is a company that manufactures a wide range of products, including beverages and organic liquid fertilizers using water hyacinth.
[ALSO READ: PATHETIC STATE OF LAKE VICTORIA HYACINTH MENACE]