Water Hyacinth is a plant that takes root in waterways the world over, causing destruction to aquatic and plant eco-systems. For communities that rely on their waterways for food, livelihoods, and transportation water hyacinth blocks access to the water essential to their survival. In Nigeria, a local social enterprise, MitiMeth, is harvesting water hyacinth and turning it into functional handcrafted products, and empowering members of the local community.
MitiMeth was founded in 2011 by Achenyo Idachaba, a computer scientist and business analyst, and 2014 Cartier Women’s Initiative Laureate. Born and raised in the US Achenyo made the decision to move to Nigeria, her country of heritage to explore ways of contributing to the development of the country. Settling in Ibadan Achenyo initially set up an environmental consulting business, but circumstances led to her working on tackling the problem of Water Hyacinth. From the company’s first two products a wastebasket and desk organiser, the range has grown to incorporate furniture and fashion accessories that attract a local and international clientele.
MitiMeth offers training workshops to women and young people teaching them how to harvest, process and weave the weed into products for sale, and turning a destructive negative into a beneficial positive that impacts their entire communities.
– Tapiwa Matsinde
For further information about MitiMeth visit: www.mitimeth.com
[Image credits: The images shown belong to MitiMeth. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]