LASWA PARTNERS PRIVATE FIRMS TO EXPLORE ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF WATER HYACINTH

… Trains 150 Beneficiaries in Badore, Falomo Axis 

 

The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), in collaboration with a Lagos-based social enterprise Mitimeth and PIB Global Services, has completed a seven-day water hyacinth recycling initiative where 150 rural women in Falomo and Badore, Lagos, were trained on the economic benefits of recycling hyacinth weed for different items.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the initiative at the Badore Ferry Jetty in Ajah, Lagos, the General Manager of LASWA, Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, said the training was put together in continuation of its waste to wealth initiative for rural women as a means of empowerment.

According to him, the initiative, which is already in its 4th year, has assisted most rural women in various coastal communities in Lagos State to turn the menace of water hyacinth into a sustainable lifestyle and fashion, through the transfer of requisite skills that will help transform the hyacinth into valuable handicraft materials.

“What we have been doing with water hyacinth over the years is to stop complaining about the barrier which the menace poses to smooth sailing on the waterways. We decided to enter in partnership with experienced private firms to harvest weed from hyacinth and convert them into useable items including bags, mats, notebook cover, hand-basket, furniture items and textile decorations”, the General Manager stated.

He maintained that LASWA has been creating an enabling environment while the partners have been driving the initiatives over the years, as part of their contributions towards complementing the efforts of government in the area of poverty alleviation, through the exploration of the benefits inherent in the hyacinth.

Emmanuel added that LASWA has sustained the initiative with its partners having identified water Hyacinth as an annual menace that should be contained to ensure the free movement of ferries within the waterways.

The representative of Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority (LSADA), at the event, Dr. Bukola Sadiku, described the initiative as timely and very important, saying that the world is already going organic for more sustainable farming and preservation of wildland.

She said, “Water hyacinth is one of the organic materials that can be used for food sustainability without any health implication on farm produce. It helps farmers create more profits and yields healthier produce”.

Dr. Sadiku promised LASWA that the Authority will popularise the initiative among farmers and help in raising awareness on how to embrace the enterprise towards the realisation of food security in the State.

Also speaking on the initiative, the CEO of Mitimeth, Mrs. Achenyo Idachaba-Obaro explained that a similar programme had been extended to Epe, Badagry, Ikorodu and Falomo being the major coastal areas in the State where the menace of water hyacinth is prevalent.

The Founder of PIB Global Services, Mr. Peter Bassey, said that the idea of converting water hyacinth was informed by his interest in supporting water transportation and reducing the challenges posed to fishermen as a result of water hyacinth.

He added that another area of the interventions by his firm is in converting the hyacinth menace to charcoal for cooking and organic fertilisers for the use of farmers.

Ayomide Oyewole

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