Invasive Plant Species – The ‘Cuscuta’ Scourge

Categories Nature

On my mind is agony over the helplessness in controlling plant weeds which appear from nowhere and quickly invade the land and destroy the environment as they wish whilst humanity just watches and does nothing to control the spread.

The case in point is the ‘Cuscuta’ scourge, caused by Dodder Cuscuta Reflexa, which is an invasive, creeping plant species otherwise called the “Japanese Dodder” or just “Cuscuta”.

This parasitic weed (Pictured) is an environmental disaster in some parts of Western Kenya and Eastern Uganda, and has been nicknamed Miguna Miguna by some in Nyanza.

Cuscuta Dodder

Once introduced, it rapidly spreads out and builds a canopy on the host tree or plant and casts thousands of tendrils to form a dense spectacle.  It infuses itself into the host through multiple nodes which it uses to suck water and nutrients thus weakening the host plant before it strangles and suffocates it to death.

Its rapid spread is partly facilitated by its floral appeal, the ignorance of farmers and lack of tried and tested scientific control mechanisms; the result being that Kenya is losing many trees and plants to the weed, including mangoes, tobacco, citrus, tea, coffee, tomatoes, tobacco and beans.

What disgusts my tiny brain most is humanity’s inactivity as alien species invade our space; slowly dry up streams, rivers and other water towers; systematically turn our land and water masses into a desert; and potentially relegate humanity into extinction and oblivion. It is said that uprooting and burning the plant into ashes may help control it; but who is doing it?

Humanity must wake up and fight this, and other invasive species such as the Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and the Mathenge plant (Prosopis Juliflora), plants which seem to be determined to enhance human hunger, poverty and suffering; and all this happening in broad daylight, before our very eyes, as nothing is done.

I am an epic introvert, who quickly becomes an open book when I pen what’s in my significantly fertile mind; fertile as a result of bombardment by realities that are continuously captured by my inquisitive eyes, ears which are constantly rubbing the ground, through constant reading, and through dreaming too.

Writing provides an opportunity to ‘say’ what my unapologetic quiet mouth will not say; which not only soothes me, but also bequeaths to me a relief, a release, and a hope that the written words will change the world, even if only one person at a time.

And so should you seek, that’s where to find me; deeply tucked inside the blankets of reading, seeing, listening, dreaming, and then writing.

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