Water hyacinth generating income

POKHARA: Water hyacinth deemed as the bane of Phewa Lake earlier has proved a good source of income as women here are making money by using the otherwise-unwanted weed as a raw material to prepare handicraft items.

“After we learnt about its positive use, the weed is now helping women become self-reliant,” said Kaski-Pokhara Handicraft Association Chairperson Hira Bhattarai, adding that one could earn over Rs 15,000 by selling items made out of it. According to Bhattarai, the dried weed fetches 1,000 rupees minimum and could be used to make handicraft items such as pen-holder, handbags and dustbins.

Environment Department Chief, Pokhara sub-metropolis, Nirmal Singh Bhandari praised the initiative to turn the unwanted thing into something worthy. “There were times when the weed was deemed unwanted as it spoilt the beauty of the lake, but with the new discovery they have turned it into an asset as they now generate income,” Bhandari said.

Meanwhile, Kaski Pokhara Handicraft Association has provided training to some 23 women of Pokhara to make handicraft items from water hyacinth.