How to create wealth from mangrove trees
The Niger Delta creeks are home to billions of mangrove trees in its swamped ecology.
The Ocean Service describes mangroves as “a group of trees and shrubs that live in the coastal intertidal zone.
There are about 80 different species of mangrove trees. All of these trees grow in areas with low-oxygen soil, where slow-moving waters allow fine sediments to accumulate. Mangrove forests only grow at tropical and subtropical latitudes near the equator because they cannot withstand freezing temperatures.
Many mangrove forests can be recognized by their dense tangle of prop roots that make the trees appear to be standing on stilts above the water. This tangle of roots allows the trees to handle the daily rise and fall of tides, which means that most mangroves get flooded at least twice per day. The roots also slow the movement of tidal waters, causing sediments to settle out of the water and build up the muddy bottom.
Mangrove forests stabilize the coastline, reducing erosion from storm surges, currents, waves, and tides. The intricate root system of mangroves also makes these forests attractive to fish and other organisms seeking food and shelter from predators.”
As far as the eyes can behold is mangrove forests in every nook and cranny of the delta. Even though the locals have been exploiting the trees for fuel through firewood and for sources of salt and even to assist in fishing for sea molluscs, mangroves can create wealth of its properties are properly and gainfully harnessed.
Some medicinal mangroves are potent against antibiotic resistant pathogenic bacteria due to their antibacterial activities.
Writing about the Traditional Uses of Mangrove Plants, Vinoth Rangasamy, S Kumaravel, and R Ranganathan asserted thus:
“Mangrove plants are specialized timbered plants growing in the swamps of tidal coastal areas and stream deltas of tropical and subtropical parts of the world. They have been utilized for medicinal and traditional purposes by the coastal folks over the years.
A large number of mangrove plants grows natural and exploited especially, for use in indigenous pharmaceutical houses.
Several mangroves genus produce expensive drugs which have high export potential. The utilization of plants and plant products as medicines could be traced as far back as the commencement of human civilization.
Mangrove plants have been used in folklore medicines and extracts from mangrove species have prove inhibitory activity against human, animal and plant pathogens. Traditionally, the mangroves have been exploited for firewood and charcoal.
Exploit has been found for mangroves in the manufacture of dwellings, furniture, boats and fishing gear, tannins for dyeing and leather production. The mangroves afford food and wide variety of traditional products and artefacts for the mangrove dwellers. The present review deals with the pharmacological activity, medicinal, traditional and produce bioactive compounds of mangrove medicinal plants.”
Research institutions and state governments can collaborate to empower locals dwelling in the creeks with requisite skills need to become entrepreneurs in mangrove herbal remedies especially with the Covid19 pandemic which has been predicted to still be with mankind for some time to come.