Water Hyacinth is threatening the existence of the largest freshwater body in Africa and the second largest in the world, Lake Victoria, even as a Ksh80 million harvesting machine lies idle.

So far, the water weed has covered at least 4,000 hectares of the lake’s surface, according to marine experts.

The hyacinth harvesting machine was bought three years ago with grants and a loan from the World Bank.

However, it is said that the machine cannot work, since there are missing hooks worth Ksh2.3 million.

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Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Regional Integration and Northern Corridor Development visited the area this week, and demanded that Environment CS Keriako Tobiko give answers on why the machine has stalled at the Kisumu inland port.

“We wonder why a government can wait for more than three years to fix such a small problem. We cannot blame the commission because it has already done its part in sourcing for finance. The problem is at the implementation stage which is now under Ministry of Environment,” said committee chairman Gideon Ochanda, who is the MP for Bondo.

The hyacinth harvester can clear 2.8 acres of the weed in just eight hours.

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