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The History of Water Hyacinth in Africa
It was believed that water hyacinth was brought to Africa in the 1980’s, however research shows that the plant has been in the country since the mid-16th century, brought by European explorers.

French Botanist Alire Raffeneau-Delile was cultivating that plant in Egypt by the late 1790s, by the 1870s water hyacinth emerged as an ecological disaster in Egypt as it would be soon in other parts of the world as well.

Between 1880 and 1980, water hyacinth appeared as an ecological nuisance in many parts of Africa. It caused a popular crisis in South Africa in the 1910s, Madagascar in the 1920s, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya in the 1930s through the 1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s, water hyacinth bloomed heavily on Lake Victoria, the Nile, the Congo and almost all watercourses of Africa.

 
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Weed Clearing in Burma - Inle Lake, a freshwater lake in the Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi District of Shan State is the second largest lake in Myanmar. It has an estimated surface area of 44.9 square miles. Photographer Gavin Burnett caught an image of two girls collecting weeds and debris from the shallow waters on Inle Lake. The weeds are used as compost on floating vegetable farms that are built on island of floating water hyacinths.


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