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Friday, August 18, 2017

Factory to be set up to get rid of hyacinth

A MASS OF WATER HYACINTH WEED COVERING LAKE VICTORIA.PIX BY SAMUEL OTIENO.
A MASS OF WATER HYACINTH WEED COVERING LAKE VICTORIA.PIX BY SAMUEL OTIENO.

Plans are underway to set up a factory which uses water hyacinth as a raw material, as a long-term measure of getting rid of Lake Victoria’s stubborn weed.

The government, through Culture PS Joe Okudo, said research is being conducted to establish which products the factory will manufacture, and how to market them. He said this will prevent water hyacinth from thriving. The study, he said, is also seeking to find out the best location of the factory.

Okudo was addressing journalists in Kabunde, Homa Bay town, on the sidelines of the official opening of a consultative forum on the Third Medium Term Plan for 2018-22 on Wednesday.

“Plans are on course to have a long-term solution,” Okudo said.

He was with Homa Bay county commissioner Kassim Farrah and Finance executive David Okeyo. Farrah and Okeyo expressed concern that the weed had ran down the economy of Homa Bay.

“Water hyacinth impedes transport and fishing in any part of the lake invaded by the weed,” Farrah said. Okeyo said the factory will create jobs for many youths in the region.

“The Homa Bay government wants to create an enabling environment to help our youths earn a living. Such a factory will open fishing grounds and a transport sector for the benefits of our people,” he said.

In 2014, the Homa Bay government brought a machine to help remove the weed manually, but the method was not effective.

“We’re committed to co-operating with development partners to do away with adverse effects of the weed,” Okeyo said. The construction of the factory is set to begin in August.

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