e-ISSN : 2347-2677, p-ISSN : 2394-0522
Ogaga A Aghoghovwia and Bestman Obomunu
The term occlusion emanated from Latin word “occlusio” which implies restriction or blockage. The aquatic weeds aside other negative features, obstruct the water ways wherever they are found. Aquatic plants, notably water hyacinth, duck weed, water lettuce and hypha grass have become ubiquitous in the Niger Delta Rivers, Creeks, lakes and reservoirs for nearly three decades. The presence of these sufficive weeds according to previous studies showed they are of grave consequences to man as they hinder economic or social activities such as reduction of capacity of water bodies for fish production, inhibit fishing, hampering on netting and passage of ships, harbors insect pests thereby hosting pathogens. Other problems posed by aquatic plants include impairment of navigation, reduction of water availability to the local communities, prevention of proper functioning of pumps and turbines of power stations where available. The problem is predicted to become greater since there is increased trade across the borders which facilitate spread and growth of weeds. This will be further aggravated with human settlement and its attendant waste generation and intensive use of fertilizers which get washed into the water ways. The nutrient enrichment triggers luxuriant growth of aquatic weeds. The aquatic weeds, spread quickly on the water through movement of boats/ships, water current downstream and flood push, besides agent of dispersion such as birds, wildlife and wind. Various management tools advocated to put the weeds under control include prevention through monitoring and early detection. Other means of Aquatic Plants control include mechanical and biological methods as well as the use of chemicals and more recently the adoption of wide applications in utilization as food for man and feed formulation and as fabric in craft making.
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