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#SustainabilityMonth: Turning an invasive plant into an eco-friendly opportunity

Nigeria-based green entrepreneur Achenyo Idachaba is helping change the story in the riverine community of Bayeku in Ikorodu, Lagos by turning an invasive water plant that chokes Nigeria's waterways into a source of income.
Idachaba had left her corporate career in the US in 2009 in order to contribute to sustainable development in Nigeria. This leap of faith led her to form MitiMeth, a company that creates eco-friendly handicrafts like home d├ęcor and personal accessories from aquatic weeds and other agro-waste.

Idachaba's "spark moment"

Idachaba, shortly after her return to Nigeria, discovered the impact that the water hyacinth had in Bayeku, hampering fishing, trade and transport, and lowering available fish stocks. Standing on the Third Mainland Bridge, contemplating the impact of the invasive plant, she had her "spark moment". After exploring research on the possible uses of the plant, Idachaba put together a three step plan: harvest the water hyacinth, dry the stems, and weave them into products.

Idachaba, through MitiMeth, is helping turn the problematic water hyacinth into a source of income, improving livelihoods, while clearing the waterways to the benefit of Nigeria's riverine communities.

Watch Idachaba's TED Talk: "How I turned a dealy plant into a thriving business"

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About Sindy Peters

Sindy Peters (@sindylp) is managing editor at She can be reached at .