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Leaders appeal for government intervention to control hyacinth

Leaders in Naivasha have petitioned Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko to personally intervene over the deadly water hyacinth that is slowly suffocating Lake Naivasha.
The leaders said the invasive weed was spreading by the day and there was need for the intervention from the National Government to have it contained before it’s too late.
Addressing the press, Naivasha MP Jane Kihara said the lake was a lifeline for thousands of residents and it was sad to see the livelihoods being endangered.
Kihara further said the weed was a major disaster in the water body adding that fishermen were getting stuck every time they embarked on their activities.
The legislator said several efforts geared towards physical removal of the weed had failed with stakeholders now calling for mechanical or scientific means.
Kihara said an initiative by a private investor to battle the weed through the introduction of beetles had also failed adding that there was need for concerted efforts from all the stakeholders if the menace was to be contained.
Lake Naivasha Boat Owners Association Chairman David Kilo said a lot of attention had been put in Lake Victoria in dealing with the weed adding that operators in Naivasha were also suffering due to the weed which had now become unmanageable and a nuisance that needs government attention.
He cited sections of South Lake as being inaccessible due to the weed which he said was spreading at an alarming rate raising anxiety among operators around the lake.
Kilo noted that apart from destroying nets, the weed had adversely affected navigation at a time when the lake was recording high number of local and international tourists.
In November 2018, Fisheries PS Professor Micheni Ntiba admitted that the introduction of beetles to contain the weed had failed noting that the only solution lay in using mechanical methods.
By Esther Mwangi/Mercy Kihugu

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