Tuesday, January 17, 2023
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NewsOCP Africa to repurpose Water Hyacinth

OCP Africa to repurpose Water Hyacinth

An initiative is being launched by OCP Africa, a subsidiary group of a Moroccan state-owned fertilizer producer, with the goals of halting the spread of water hyacinth and finding new use for the invasive species. The research has been carried out by the country’s representative office, which intends to pilot produce the research findings at Lake Tana beginning next year.

Selamyehun Kidanu (PhD), agronomy and business development team head at OCP Africa’s representative office, stated that for the past three years, the office has been conducting research activities repurpose the dangerous weed. “Since the weed is an invasive type, the weed-control system’s effectiveness may be limited,” the team leader said.

Water hyacinth is a well-known invasive weed that has invaded Lake Tana and other Ethiopian lakes, substantially posing a challenge to the ecosystem services of the lakes. The reason for the wide spread and growth of the weed in these areas might be due to eutrophication caused by a high level of nutrients.

“Destructing the water hyacinth is not the goal; it has purposes and can be reinvested along with environmental protection,” Selamyehun said. “The protection begins from the basin. The weed has caused problems due to the high nutrient content of the water body combining with the surface of the lake.”

The sediment, according to Selamyehun, from the upper basin and the water hyacinth population as well needs to be minimized. “This equilibration has limited the speed of the weed invasion.”

The research also involved staff at Bahir Dar and Moroccan universities.

Sustainable integrated water hyacinth management is a sustainable solution because it tackles the source and effect at the same time. It has catchment treatment; bio filters are installed along the river banks, and after they filter the water, it flows back into the river, where it may be free of sediments containing nutrients suitable for water hyacinth.

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