Challenges of Managing the Impact of Invasive Plants on the Environment: The Case of Water Hyacinth on Lake Tana, (Achera and Adisge Kebeles), Central Gondar Zone, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Water hyacinth is one of the world’s most invasive aquatic plants causing significant ecological and socio-economic impacts. Most of the problems are associated with its rapid growth rate, its ability to compete with other aquatic plants, and difficulties to manage its spread. Water hyacinth infestation on Lake Tana has been manifested on a large scale, and has created serious problems mainly on the environment and socio-economic activities. The study focused on the challenges of managing the impacts of water hyacinth on Lake Tana, Central Gondar Zone. A total of 226 households were drawn as representative sample using simple random sampling. The data gathering instruments used were questionnaire, key informant interview and focused group discussions. Data were described using frequency counts, percentages, Chi-square and Independent t-test. The results shown that water hyacinth expanded more and adversely affected the local environment. The major water hyacinth controlling practices were dependent on hand removal by local community. The result also revealed that low concern of the government, lack of appropriate technology to apply, and declining participation of local communities on manual removal of the weed as the major challenges of managing water hyacinth in the area. Besides, there is no significant perception difference between farmers and non-farmers on the expansion of water hyacinth (p=.960), and there is no statistically significant relationship between the participants’ occupation and perception on the challenges of managing water hyacinth (p=0.323). Recommendations, government has to support and strengthen efforts undertaken currently, appropriate policy and strategies need to be formulated and strong institutional set up must be established, application of appropriate technology and integrated control methods have to be employed to effectively manage the problem.



Challenges, Impact, Management practice, Water hyacinth