By Bose Adelaja
To ensure safety of ferry passengers and operators on Lagos waterways, the Lagos State Waterways Authority, LASWA, has commenced the annual clearing and removal of water hyacinth across jetties and terminals in the State.
Addressing journalists on Friday at its Cowry Terminal, LASWA General Manager, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, explained that pegging and clearing of the water hyacinth have commenced at areas with very high infestation and impact on navigation.
He noted that water hyacinth is a problematic invasive species that create serious impediment to smooth navigation on the waterways during its season, especially between October and early February.
It obstructs free flow of ferry traffic on the state inland waterways.
He said LASWA, along side other state and federal agencies, are collaborating and have mobilised adequate labour force and machinery to commence clearing of the stubborn weed immediately.
According to him, the first phase of the project is pegging down the water hyacinth to curtail its movement and infestation across ferry channels.
He said this would be followed by proper clearing of the aquatic weed using both manual labour and weed harvesting machines
Emmanuel said: “This effort in no doubt will mitigate the occasional damage of boat engines caused by this floating aquatic plant and will eliminate delays in travel time.
“it will also promote the use of water transport as a viable alternative that is safe, fast and secure.”
The General Manager reiterated the state government’s commitment towards improving safety standards and procedures of the state inland waterways in order to achieve the safety of all waterways.
“Boat captains should always drive with caution during this season,” he said, while soliciting maximum cooperation of all stakeholders.
During Vanguard’s visit to Ipakodo Jetty in Ikorodu on Friday, clearing of water hyacinth was ongoing.