SUDDEN SCARCITY OF TALINUM TRIANGULARE AKA Water leaf.
I remember while I was growing up in a then-small community in Alimosho local government early 2000s, Idimu to be precise sharing closed boundaries with isheri-Olofin, Ejigbo and Ikotun,Lagos state. It was usually the joy of most children to move around during the evening time, picking up waterleaf (Talinum triangulare) and presenting to our mothers for dinner. Most of we the children in that community at that time had overwhelming joy for delicacies made with the fast-growing plant. Two of the merits why we so much love this plant was that apart from its nutritive value, it is a very fast-growing plant and grows even with little or no rain fall. The tragedy of this short piece started a certain day after my secondary school days while I went to a market with my mother, the market is popularly known as pipeline market in the Idimu community, along Egbeda road. Then I had changed my environment but still leaving in the same local government but now in Isheri-Olofin community. While we were working around the market to buy foodstuff an old friend called my attention, instead of smiling, I became shocked, how could I ? this was the question I was batting till I got home that day
How could I have forgotten the ever wanted waterleaf while I was very young, what happened to it all this while? I was even more shocked at the fact that people were buying the one-time free gift of nature at certain market prices per quantity. At a rethink I wasn’t surprised at its scarcity around idimu and Isheri-Olofin community, yes, I wasn’t at all, urbanization, excessive use of herbicides, construction of buildings and most especially our nonchalant activities towards nature has driven a one-time nature’s free gift into an unknown hidden place. On frequent visits to my growing neighborhood I noticed that those places where we do get the plants from then are now houses, churches, industries and so many other buildings. Aside major development with biodiversity being sidetracked in the community and other places globally, we show little or no concern to our bioresources, we feel we are never indebted to nature and nature will always take it course.
Thank God for modern technology and some farmers that still invest their time and resources in culturing the plants like waterleaf, if not it would have been a big slap on our faces to see such one-time roaming about neighbor go into permanent extinction. The good news is that the plant can be cultured at our backyards and surroundings at home even in empty bowls or pots. It is time for humans to stand up and give back to planet earth “our primary source”, it calling out daily for human intervention.