Kenyatta Universitys Taita / Taveta based college for agriculture and technology is partnering with Sarova Hotels Taita Hills and Salt Lick Lodges, to establish ways and means to safely eradicate an aquatic weed, which has over the past years invaded the Bura dam, a source of water, which is now under severe threat of drying up, for the private game reserves wildlife.
The researchers might be well advised to draw on the experience of the impact of aquatic weeds on Lake Victoria, where a massive spread in the 1990s led to amongst others Murchisons Bay be entirely covered by water hyacinth, making access to Port Bell harbour for the regular lake rail ferries impossible, a situation mirrored later on outside Kisumu on the Kenyan side of the lake.
The weed was at the time, in particular behind the Owens Falls dam in Jinja, where the sheer weight pushing against the dam wall caused concerns over safety, mechanically harvested, while in other parts weevils were introduced known to feed on the weeds, though in severe cases like Murchisons Bay chemical spraying was used to kill the weed off and make shipping once again possible.
Sarova Hotels, according to information availed by the Taita Hills / Salt Lick General Manager Willy Mwadilo, has also planted over 50.000 tree seedlings in the vicinity of their 28.000 acre wide Taita Hills private game sanctuary, to support the re-growth of trees in an effort to improve the micro climate in the area. The sanctuary is home to about 300 species of birds and over 50 species of mammals, including elephant, giraffe, buffalo and lions and within easy reach from Mombasa, just 200 kilometres on good tarmac while the distance from Kenyas capital Nairobi is about 400 kilometres, also on good tarmac.
Well done Sarova in the meanwhile while we continue to monitor news about success in getting rid of the obnoxious water weeds.
(A view of the Sarova Salt Lick Lodge, deep inside the 28.000 acres private game sanctuary picture courtesy of Sarova Hotels)