Determinants of manual control of water hyacinth expansion over the Lake Tana, Ethiopia
Water hyacinth is an exotic freshwater weed damaging wetland resources over the Lake Tana basin, Ethiopia. Different measures, including manual labour and harvesting machinery are in use to reduce its damage and expansion. Yet, the invasion of the weed appears expanding its scope across the wetlands of the Lake. This paper presented the study made to identify determinant factors affecting manual control of water hyacinth expansion over the Lake wetlands. It tried to analyse the expansion trend of the water hyacinth and community efforts to control its extension. Data were gathered from questionnaire surveys, group discussions, interviews and field observations. Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression were used for data analysis. The study revealed that the water hyacinth cover in the Lake’s wetland increased from ≤10, 000 ha in 2011 to over 50, 000 ha in 2017. Wetland terrain, water depth, food availability, farming time, employment and government support were found significantly influencing the manual control practices of households. Hence, government support must increase to motivate people involvement in manual weed removal campaigns. Micro-relief maps and floating boats need be readily available to help participants easily identify risky terrains and expand the physical weed removal into the deeper waters.
Key Words: Water hyacinth, Invasive weeds, Manual control, Wetlands, Lake Tana, Ethiopia