The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) has started the annual clearing and removal of water hyacinth from jetties, terminals and routes on the state inland waterways.
General Manager of LASWA, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, stated this in a statement he made available to newsmen in Lagos.
He said that the authority began the clearing of the water hyacinth on Wednesday, October 28, 2020.
Emmanuel said that pegging and clearing of water hyacinth started simultaneously at Ikorodu, Badore and Badagry.
He added that the exercise would be extended to other zones.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has graciously approved the clearing of all impediments to smooth navigation including the water hyacinth (a highly problematic invasive species) obstructing the free flow of traffic on the state’s inland waterways.
“Therefore, LASWA has mobilised the required labour force and machinery to the project sites to commence the exercise immediately.
“The first phase of the project is pegging down the water hyacinth to curtail its movement and infestation across ferry channels. That will be followed by an eventual clearing of the aquatic weed using both manual labour and weed harvesting machines.
“This effort is to mitigate the occasional damage of boat engines caused by this stubborn aquatic weed and to eliminate delays in travel time while promoting the use of water transport as a viable alternative that is safe, fast and secure,” Emmanuel said.
The LASWA boss described water hyacinth as a floating aquatic plant of tropical lakes and rivers that grows prolifically on the Lagos Lagoon, hindering boats and ferries’ movements, especially, during the harmattan period.
He reiterated that the state government was committed to improving safety standards and procedures on the state inland waterways to guarantee the safety of all its users.
Emmanuel, however, advised captains of boats to always drive with caution during the season while soliciting the maximum cooperation of all stakeholders to achieve clean, safe, and prosperous waterways.
By Aisha Cole