It is debated how exactly the water hyacinth plant came to Lake Victoria, but evidence suggests it arrived due to human activity in the 1980s. Given that it is not native to the region and therefore has no natural predators, the plant has proliferated, causing many serious problems for the local communities.
First of all, an infestation of water hyacinth blocks boat access, impeding fishing and transportation activities. This cuts off vital income sources for all included in the fish supply chain. Moreover, the weed creates an excellent breeding area for mosquitoes, which leads to an increase in diseases such as malaria. By deoxygenating the water, the plant also smothers aquatic life- further interfering with the fish market.