Turning invasive aquatic weed to successful business in Lagos

This is a fascinating story coming from our very own Lagos, Naija! Only seven minutes long talk. I learnt so much about usefulness of hyacinth plant. I have seen these plants so many times that I never thought it could be this useful to turn to household and office items.

And so many names given to hyacinth from all of our regions and political meaning attached to each is just eye-opening – all of this is completely new to me. I never knew hyacinth is called ‘gbeborun‘ (busybody).

Ms Achenyo Idachaba is such an incredible speaker, concise and very informative with lots of wit (one needs to know a bit about Nigeria to get the joke).

I do hope this is harvested in a way that encourages more growth – I bet they likely provide shelter/shade for some aquatic dwellers.

Enjoy this wonderful talk, hope you learn something new like I did.


Categories: Education, Nigeria, Women

Tags: , , ,

11 replies

  1. I read your article and watched the short video.
    Mrs Idachaba deserves praise for using her iniitative and coming up with a ‘solution’.

    Further reflection, will show this is a ‘band aid’ (plaster) to what is a potentially serious problem. The solution she offered will offer some temporary alleviation to the affected communities, but how many baskets and lamps shades can continuously be sold, how long can this be sustained? They are already doing this in East Africa.

    The real solution is to eradicate or limit the spread of the species, the best means would be using biological controls. Such as insects that prey upon the plant. Also an investigation into how this water hyacinth needs to be conducted and measures put in place to ensure that similar incidents don’t occur in future. But this is something that Nigerians don’t take seriously, until things get completely out of hand then half-hearted efforts at fire fighting are attempted. People need to start learning lessons quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see what you mean jco given the initial challenge was to clear the waterways to ease boats passage.

      However, making use of the hyacinth is symbolic, it shows plenty of opportunities in disguise. I sense one of the reason Ms Idachaba spotted the opportunity is the education + technology – hyacinth are broadly used in southeast Asia for all sorts of stuff including for medicinal purposes so maybe we don’t have to get rid of these invasive plants all together, we only need to control their spread during harvest so there’s enough passage for the boats.

      Most importantly, most of the women involved in this project are likely educated, they wouldn’t have to stay with the lady forever, they may venture out on their own using acquired skill. Very unlikely to get a kobo from the bank to set up but they can collect hyacinth in their space time and see where it takes them.


      • Granted the piece you captioned was a good example of education + technology coming from a female Nigerian scholar.

        Agreed it is better to try to gain something positive from the water hyacinth than to merely watch it spread and bemoan one’s “apparent” fate.

        However the environmental damage and impact on human health created by it is very significant.


        To date no one has eradicated it, but it must surely be controlled and not allowed to spread to all of the country’s waterways.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ha, thanks jco. I suppose being curious and taking leaps of faith to unknown is what we need.

          Hopefully now that the weed is being used for something useful, attention will be directed to the not very pleasant effects of it especially being the breeding ground for mosquitoes + blocking waterways. Oh well, little steps …


  2. Really interesting! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish more would think this way instead sitting on their butts. Inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great video, Fola. It was so inspiring. We need more great thinkers like this woman.

    Liked by 1 person

Please leave comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: