Collection of Wetland Plants from the Institute of Primate Research Sewage Treatment Ponds

Collecting a few Cyperus papyrus shoots

On Thursday 13th April, Benard, Cynthia, Fleur & Baldip set out to collect wetland plants from the Institute of Primate Research (IPR) Sewage Treatment Ponds. IPR is part of the National Museums of Kenya (NMK). In preparations for the collection and beforehand they were ably assisted by IPR staff and guide, Silver.

IPR has a large variety of plants that work together to clean the water to the extent that at the end the water is clear and odourless.
Through the RUNBS (Realising Urban Nature-Based Solutions) initiative, Friends of City Park are piloting an interesting project in City Park to demonstrate how wetlands can remove pollutants and improve water quality on a stream that joins Kibagare River. Water quality has already been tested before starting the project. If the project is successful, and judging by the effect of plants in IPR, we are quite sure it will be, we can write up a bigger proposal, source bigger funds and apply the same strategy to the polluted Kibagare River that passes through City Park.

Some of the plants at the treatment ponds. [L-R] 1. Floating pennywort (Hydrocotyle sp), 2. Rumex sp 3. Sedges 4. Knotweed (Polygonum sp) [Photos – FoCP]

We also visited private gardens on Magadi Road, thanks to Fleur, and saw a couple more plants which we may collect once our pickup full of plants from IPR have been planted. The plant shown below which forms a spongy carpet on the water will complement the plants already in city park.

Fig.3. Azolla sp forms a spongy floating carpet [Photo – FoCP]

The greater the variety of plants the more varied the effect on purifying the polluted waters.

-by B.Khan and B.Koros

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