The First Harvest

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10/10/2011 The First Harvest

I travelled down to the island to begin processing the first batch of water hyacinth stalks. The water hyacinth plant multiplies rapidly from the month of September and begins spreading across the river from the river banks. While travelling down, I observed that the water hyacinth had increased in number on the river surface and we even had some entangled in the propeller of the boat’s engine causing us to stop mid-river for about ten minutes. Shortly after arriving at noon, it rained heavily till evening.
The following day, team H++ set out to the river bank and we began the harvest. After removing the leaves and roots, the stems were split in half along the length and laid out to dry. Once again, we were met by rain and had to move the stalks into the shed to dry. The initial drying phase lasted for two days instead of the prescribed one day in steady sunshine before the pith could be removed for further drying.
Unfortunately it has rained heavily every day since we arrived and the five day process of rope creation has taken twice as long because it rains a lot more in the Niger Delta than the rest of the country.
Regardless, we will continue to test out samples and see what we can produce in the rainy season.

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Alafuro Sikoki

Nigerian industrial designer and founder of Studio Sikoki, a virtual multidisciplinary design and art studio producing intellectually challenging and socially relevant work. Sikoki has a Bachelor´s degree in Communication, Authoring & Design from Coventry University, UK and a Master´s degree in Industrial Design from The University of Arts in Philadelphia, USA. She has received several …

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