The County Assembly of Busia has directed the Department of Agriculture and Animal Resources to explore the best possible solutions with the help of other research institutions in the country to abate the spread of the Cuscuta Californica yellow weed species in the county and country at large.
The Assembly which was chaired by nominated MCA Cynthia Mutere wants the Department to ensure the engaged research consultancy firm deliver its results by February,2019.
The notice motion that was moved by nominated MCA Nancy Okademi and adopted by the County Assembly on June 20th, 2018 mandated the Agriculture committee to urgently conduct an inquiry into the adverse effects of Cuscuta species on the vegetation cover and environment generally within Busia County.
Agriculture Committee chairman Job Oteba said the committee paid random visits to various sites in selected counties including Funyula, Bunyala, Teso North and Matayos in a bid to ascertain the veracity of the issue.
He said the mushrooming effects of Cuscuta Californica species in the county was posing a serious threat to the environment, adding that the alien species preys on specific plants especially Yellow Oleander“mabulusi”.
The chairman said the department of Agriculture had budgeted Sh2.1m in the financial year 2018/2019 for control of alien species in a bid to alleviate the effects of the weed albeit as a stop gap measure.
Oteba said people have devised various ways of militating against the adverse effects of the weed but in vain. The measures include use of hot water mixed with pepper and salt, uprooting the affected host plant, plucking off and either burning or depositing the weed in the latrines.
“Children subconsciously play a role in propagating the spread of the weed by plucking it and throwing it in different locations. It is destroying people’s fences (tree fences) as well as leading to death of other vegetation,” he said.
All members who gave their contributions including Patrick Obuya, Moses Ochieng, David Kokonya, Maskini Okodoi and Gardy Jakaa were unanimous that Cuscuta was a dangerous weed that should be controlled from spreading.
Ochieng urged the department of agriculture to invest money in a lot of research.
“We also need to create awareness to sensitize the public on how best to control the spread of the weed,” he said.