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Marine Environment: NIWA clears water hyacinth in Ikorodu, Epe waterways, moves to Lekki area

NIWA clearing water hyacinth from waterways in Epe, Lagos State.

The waterways within the Lekki area come next for clearing of water hyacinth after those of Ikorodu and Epe had been cleared by the National Inland Waterways Authority(NIWA).

Each time the  water weed clogs the marine environment, navigation by boats becomes almost impossible, which affects commercial activities of boat operators and fishermen.

The Authority, therefore, concentrated on
clearing the waterways in Ikorodu area for about three months towards the end
of 2019, because of the concentration of commercial ferry operations there, the
head of marine operations, Stanley Onuoha said in an interview in Lagos.   

He said: “We started off with
clearing the waterways of the migratory water weeds around Ikorodu, because it
accumulates in a particular point, just like a basin and making access to the
jetties difficult. And after clearing the place, people were able to access the
jetties in Ikorodu and the other areas on the Island.

“After Ikorodu, we went to Epe in
January and February 2020, because there are a lot of barging activities there.
Besides supporting the commercial activities, it is also for safety reasons
since there will always be large number of people in such areas. Now, we are
trying to mobilse to areas around Lekki.

According to the marine
operations manager, NIWA engages in a regular exercise of clearing the water hyacinths
during the season of its appearance from October.

“You understand that water
hyacinth as a weed is seasonal; from October –January, you have more of the
infestation, because they migrate from other parts of the world.

“We begin to get the impact from
October, and it peaks in December. We still see them in January and February,
but at a point in time they go off from the country to elsewhere and some of
them die and settle to the bottom of the water.

“It is a migratory weed that
disturbs a lot of activities on the waterways. During the peak, users of the
waterways like fishermen, ferry operators find it difficult to maneuver and to
ply the waterways. So, this exercise of clearing the waterways helps.”  
The project is capital intensive,
so it is done in phases, the head of marine noted.

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