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Helen Owuda, Ugandan Minister of State for Fisheries (left) and Prof. Dr. Hani Sewilam , Egyptian Minister of Water Resources & Irrigation (right), during the signing of the 5th extension agreement for Aquatic Weed Control project in the Equatorial Lakes. (Photo: @MwiEgypt / X)

Uganda, Egypt sign deal to combat invasive water hyacinth

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Water hyacinth has long been a problem in Uganda’s Great Lakes region. The invasive species poses a serious risk to the area’s aquatic ecosystems, biodiversity, and local inhabitants’ means of subsistence. But a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on November 1 between Uganda and Egypt could help Uganda gain ground in controlling water hyacinth within its borders.

The two sides signed the 5th Extension Agreement for Aquatic Weeds Control under the Equatorial Lakes Project between Uganda and Egypt.  The MoU will extend the project’s duration and deepen the commitment of both nations to combat aquatic weeds in Uganda’s Great Lakes region.

The project uses biological and physical methods to control water hyacinth and other aquatic weeds. Physical control methods include obstacles like cables and booms and manual and mechanical removal. Insect species that eat the weeds are used in biological control efforts.

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