Kenyan man uses invasive plant water hyacinth for paper production

Water hyacinth, a fast-growing floating plant, has long been a headache for fishermen and locals near Lake Victoria in Western Kenya.

But now, 31-year-old Evince Oloo is making efforts to use the problematic species for recycle production.

Oloo mixes water hyacinth with waste paper to produce paper products and liquid soap.

The procedure is simple but a finicky job.

First, he chops the fibers into smaller pieces and then mashed into a thick pulp. The pulp is later mixed with waste paper, which have been soaked for two to three days and mashed.

The mixture is then poured into a big metallic trough filled with water after which it is sieved to form soft wet paper on top of a plastic or woody sieve.

The wet paper takes 30-40 minutes to dry, then the refined product is cut into different sizes.

Oloo makes folders, gift bags, A4-size papers for printing, photo frames and other woven products, which he exhibits at the local markets.

But now, despite the growing market demand, Oloo can only produce such productions on a very small scale.

“We are happy and we will try and recycle this things and make environment habitable. We hope to grow the business if we get sponsors to help us expand our business.”

Leave a Comment