Greener Journal of Physical Sciences

Open Access

Moyo et al

Greener Journal of  Physical Sciences  Vol. 3 (6), pp. 229-240, October 2013.  

ISSN: 2276-7851 © 2011 Greener Journals

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 170913843

 

A Proposed Integrated Management Approach to the Control of Water Hyacinth: The Case of Shagashe River in Masvingo, Zimbabwe

 

Phanankosi Moyo, Lazarus Chapungu* and Boycen Mudzengi

 

Department of Geography and Environmental Science, Great Zimbabwe University,

Masvingo, Zimbabwe.

 

*Corresponding Author’s Email: lchapungu @ gmail.com, Tel: +263 39 – 266644


Abstract:

Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) invasion has become a global challenge which has had significant detrimental impacts on ecosystems and economies. A native of the Amazonian region, the free floating water weed has spread to most parts of the world. In Zimbabwe, its invasion of Lake Chivero and Manyame River systems has been well documented along with the resulting problems it has created. Water hyacinth has also infested other regions of the country including Shagashe River in the Masvingo Province. In this paper we outline a proposed site specific integrated management plan for the control of water hyacinth along Shagashe River. This has been formulated by way of reviewing published literature, consultations with various experts, stakeholders and pre-surveys done on various locations along the river. The programme entails timing of control measures to take advantage of the natural flooding of the river during the rainy season. The flooding removes the bulk of the water hyacinth and to avoid re-infestation, physical removal and biological control of the remnant water hyacinth is proposed. Various treatment methods are proposed to prevent nutrient enrichment in the river after having had identified the major sources of pollutants. Disposal of the removed hyacinth has also been discussed. Continuous monitoring by the responsible authorities and a multi-stakeholder water hyacinth monitoring committee is recommended concurrently with the enforcement of revised legal instruments.
 
Keywords: Water weeds, river pollution, integrated control, wetlands.
 

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