Reimagining the water hyacinth
We launched a campaign named Let Lake Victoria Breathe Again with a goal to restore, conserve and protect Lake Victoria’s biodiversity and ecosystem as well as raising awareness of its challenges at a grassroots level.
I believe that there cannot be effective environmental management without improving the livelihoods of millions of people who live and work in the catchment.
All environmental interventions must be underlined by broader goals of poverty reduction and sustainable growth.
Our primary source of income in our region is the lake, but because of the ongoing climate change, which has adversely affected our community, along with other reasons like pollution and an increase in water hyacinth, the lake is now complex to navigate, making it challenging to catch fish.
Water hyacinth has historically been a menace to the entire Lake Victoria region.
It chokes the fish, reducing economic opportunities for fishermen, and hinders the navigation of boats.
Our solution to this problem involves recycling waste paper and using water hyacinth to make eco-friendly cards, bookmarks, hair bands, trays, coasters, chairs and bags.
The sustainable products support and protect the health of Lake Victoria while creating youth employment.
The goal of this project is to turn the water hyacinth into an environmentally friendly solution, while raising awareness of the need to preserve the lake and strengthen community resilience to the effects of climate change on sensitive ecosystems.
Why youth matters
The challenges around the lake are more than just environmental – they are about people’s food security, employment and fears about sustainability.
We hope our water hyacinth project grows and increases youth employment and economic vibrancy; we have already helped to address youth involvement in drug abuse and early pregnancies.
We intend to hold additional climate strikes, engage in advocacy work and lobby to increase public support for a safer environment.
Our goal is to further raise awareness about climate change and hold politicians accountable for taking action in conservation.
We feel that as a group of young people, we are knowledgeable about how to address today’s global concerns and challenges.