Impact of the Invasive Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) on Socio-Economic Attributes: A Review
Water hyacinth is a free-floating, stoloniferous and perennial herb. It is native to South America and profoundly invaded the tropical and subtropical regions. It is recognized as one of the worst weeds due to its rapid proliferation rate, ecological adaptability and detrimental effects on the environment, human health and economic development. It poses serious socio-economic and environmental problems including the reduction of water quality, hindrance to water transport and recreation, hampering agriculture and fisheries and affect hydropower and water supply system. In an attempt to control the weed, deferent management strategies such as physical, chemical, biological and integrated methods had been employed in several countries. As a result, the manual removal method was used in South Africa, Nseleni River; Zimbabwe, Lake Mutirikwi; Ethiopia,Wonji-Shewa Sugar Factory and Lake Tana; and Uganda, Owen fall hydropower in Jinja at Lake Victoria. The chemical control method was practiced in Zimbabwe of Lake Chivero and in experimental site using 2-4-D , acetic acid and glyphosate; South-west Nigeria of Ere fishing channel and South Africa of larger dams and river systems by using glyphosate. The biological control was practiced in Zimbabwe of Lake Chivero through a combination of weevil and fungi; and Ethiopia, trying to control the weed using Neochetina bruchi and fungi at Rift Valley, Wonji-Shewa Sugar Factory and in a greenhouse at experimental level at Bahir Dar University. Integrated management options and awareness creation in all aspects of the weed is recommended to reduce the negative imacts of the weed.