Deadly enemy of rivers and canals, the million-dollar weed, or the devil's lilac, or the water hyacinth (botanists call it Eichornia crassipes) has invaded the Upper Nile.
WATER HYACINTHS FLOATING IN THE WHITE NILE.
BANK NEAR ED DUEIN CHOKED WITH WATER HYACINTHS.
PAN SHOT OVER BIG AREA OF HYACINTHS.
FERRY AMIDST WATER HYACINTHS RIG, CLEARING NILE.
WATER WHEEL DRIVEN BY COWS SHOT ON THE BLUE NILE.
TWO SHOTS OF WATER HYACINTHS FLOATING UP, THE WHITE NILE.
Initials D.C/CW A.W./R.L.
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Background: Deadly enemy of rivers and canals, the million-dollar weed, or the devil's lilac, or the water hyacinth (botanists call it Eichornia crassipes) has invaded the Upper Nile.
Only a weed perhaps - but it's the biggest scourge to river authorities and its appearance must be headaches between Khartoum and Cairo.
In brief it spreads rapidly, blocks waterways, causes floods, stops river traffic, kills fish by deoxygenating the water and helps spread malaria.
Economic affects must take place unless the weed can be destroyed before it reaches the Nile network of irrigation canals - and it has a strong enough grip to make the experts wonder if it can be destroyed.
A native of Brazil, where it exists in a balanced state and caused little trouble, for a number of reasons it has spread throughout the tropics during the last 15 years, appearing in the East Indies, Southern India, Ceylon and latterly Africa.
Extremely adaptable - it can live in any condition from open water to swarp - and it can spread simply by bits being broken off and washed down stream.
The plant is susceptible to an expensive hormonal weed-killer which stimulates growth to the point of exhaustion but cannot be entirely eliminated by these means.
Experts are at present studying the best methods of fighting the Water Hyacinth on the Upper Nile. Their report is expected in the near future.