No market for paper products from water hyacinths

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/28 June) — A group has found a way to help reduce the volume of water hyacinths in rivers and thus mitigate flooding by making them into handmade paper materials, but another problem has cropped up – the lack of market for these products.

The Kids for Peace Foundation said the handmade paper from hyacinths, which were blamed for worsening the flood here last week, can be used for wrappers, scrapbooks, boxes, among others. It said that sales from these products will go to children in evacuation centers who were displaced by armed conflict as well as by calamities like floods.

But Marlon Nacaituna, one of the handicraft makers said they lack support from the government in terms of marketing preventing them from going further in their goal of making the water hyacinths useful.

He added they could not sell their products at very cheap prices because these are handmade unlike those in other countries which use machines for mass production.

Caituna recalled that they underwent training two years ago in making paper from durian skin and cogon grass conducted by the Department of Science and Technology.

He said they tried water hyacinths owing to its high fiber content. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)