Achenyo Idachaba tells us how to turn a deadly plant into a thriving business

Lake Victoria1
Fishermen wade through water hyacinth in Lake Victoria (Source: Lilian Ochieng, The East African)

Ever heard of the Water hyacinth (Jacinthe des eaux)? that plant that has been suffocating rivers around the globe? That plant can be seen as one drives on the Wouri River bridge in Douala, and in major cities in Africa as it proliferates in the local rivers. Often, one can see fishermen in boats trying to uproot the plant? Years ago, Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest body of fresh water) was luscious, today the water hyacinth has had negative effects on its ecosystem, not only depriving the lake of its oxygen thus reducing nutrients for fishes, blocking water ways, and breeding all sorts of new diseases. This plant is not native of Africa. Achenyo Idachaba has turned a major problem for the local fishermen and villages as their source of livelihood was being extinguished by this plant, into a source of revenue while getting rid of the plant and developing arts and crafts. Enjoy her TED talk.

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