water_hyacintha.jpgThe Environmental Management Agency says it is failing to control water hyacinth, an invasive alien species, which continues to spread in water bodies around the capital due to pollution from the effluent discharged into the rivers and lakes by the city of Harare.

 

The failure by EMA to deal with the proliferation of water hyacinth in the water bodies in many parts of the country has resulted in the choking of rivers and lakes becoming a threat to aquatic life and activities.

 

The agency said the weed can be controlled by mechanical, chemical and biological methods but these have failed in Zimbabwe due to pollution.

 

The multiplication of the weed is a biological indicator of pollution.

 

An environmentalist, Mr Percy Toriro said: “The sources of pollution should be contained as the weeds have destroyed aquatic life, disrupted irrigation activities as well as tourism activities such as boating.”

 

The weed, which originated from Brazil, is classified as an invasive alien species which colonizes a water body and multiplies at a rapid rate.

 

Zimbabwe introduced weevils from China in the early 90s as a form of Biological control, but they failed to yield positive results as climatic conditions could not allow them to thrive.

 

Experts say there is need for relevant authorities to urgently tackle this challenge as water sources have been compromised.