Hyacinth in the Winam Bay captured by Satellite


Satellite Image Winam Bay Kisumu Kenya

The Waste to Energy project is about to transform water hyacinth from Lake Victoria – Africa’s most invasive water weed - into fuel pellets that can be adopted by the local community in Kisumu, Kenya, as an energy source for cooking and heating for households, schools, restaurants, food producers and large companies.

Important for water hyacinth harvesting is to know exactly where they are and at what densities, so harvesting cost-efficiency remains within acceptable limits of the pelleting production business model.

We are happy to inform the stake- and shareholders of the bay that W2E has now established access to actual remote sensing techniques that combined with the weather forecasts of the meteorological station as fitted by the TAHMO (data freely available at http://tahmo.org/school-2-school-initiative-4/ ) will be able to better predict the whereabouts of large masses of the hyacinth. This is good for the W2E production and as well for practitioners and developers at the shores of the Winam bay in and around Kisumu and Homabay that might not want any further blockages or other interference.

Our first Satellite photograph of the bay enjoyed great interest locally (basin authority, FAO, LVFO, and County experts and officials). One of the first images taken shows that bright green colour in the bay signifies the hyacinth location and its growth, the grey colour signifies sediment loads form shores and up-basin lands, while the pinkish colour signifies blooming blue green algae.

We use the data from the new meteorological station at the site in Kisumu to model the expected blockages. Data is freely shared and the intention is to pour it into an early warning system as well as helping the harvesting of the material at large scale for reworking it into cooking fuel.