Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Science in Maritime Affairs

Specialization

Maritime Safety & Environmental Administration

Campus

Malmö, Sweden

Country

Cameroon

First Advisor

Lindén, Olof

Abstract

Some plants, when transported to non-endemic areas undergo reproduction and rapid growth and will out-compete native plants and become weeds. These weeds then become troublesome giving rise to socioeconomic and environmental impacts. Water hyacinth (Eicchornia crassipes), one of such weeds is often considered the world’s worst invasive aquatic species of weed, indigenous to the Amazon Basin of South America and has spread over the years to various areas in Africa and Asia. This dissertation analyses the problem of water hyacinth infestation in the Wouri River Basin, done through the quantification of its socio-economic and environmental impacts on riparian communities. It aims at providing information to decision-makers and other stakeholders to assist them invest in projects geared towards preventing its spread thereby reducing the impacts on the riparian communities. The riparian communities are identified and data on the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of water hyacinth are collected through focus group discussions and interviews. The data are then presented and analysed. Furthermore, the various available methods of control are examined taking into account the benefits and setbacks of each method. Finally, a suitable strategy for the control of water hyacinth in the Wouri River Basin is proposed. The method shows that the total lost benefits of the communities due to water hyacinth infestations, outweigh the cost of implementing the appropriate control measures; hence justifies the need for urgent measures to be taken to manage water hyacinth in the Wouri River Basin.