All-year round flood

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

WHETHER it rains or shine, the streets inside the Spring Valley are flooded.

The water comes from the overflowing, clogged canals, non-functioning drainage system and spring water inside the subdivision.

Spring Valley is a subdivision located in Buhangin. Its land is a private property owned by Desiderio Dalisay Sr. The subdivision is located beside the Ladislawa Garden Village, San Pedro Village and Sandawa Village.

It literally has a spring inside the area. Whenever it rains, the water level rises up to knee high and sometimes, hip high.

Then, the water stays until it gets stagnant and emits a foul smell.

Most roads of the subdivision are not cemented causing the roads to be muddy. Some cemented roads are also very damaged giving vehicles a hard time to pass through.

Some houses already need a bridge from the gate of their houses to the streets of the subdivision. Other parts of the house are already submerged in the water.

Though trash bins are well distributed in the community, there are still parts of the area where trash are scattered everywhere, causing more clogging of drainage.

Residents prefer to ride tricycles than walk if they need to keep their clothes clean. Otherwise, they'd all be muddied.

A resident and a former leader in the Spring Valley Landless Association, Edwin Pilapil, said that for years that he has been living in that community, he has grown to adapt to the constant flooding.

Pilapil has been residing in Spring Valley since 1986 and he said that there has been no improvement in the drainage.

Children play and run along the dirty water with their bare feet. Some people use the water to wash their vehicles and their clothes. There are even those who take a bath by the roadside.

"Naay mga higayon na pagkusog kaayo ang ulan maabot sa among tuhod unya musulod ang hugaw na tubig sa among mga panimalay, mangaguba ang among mga gamit, usahay maanod pa [There are times that when the rain falls hard, dirty water enters our house and destroys our things. Sometimes, they are washed out]," Richard Valenzuela said.

There was an outlet made between the walls of Ladislawa and Spring Valley so that the water can get out to the Ladislawa's canals but it was not enough to drain all the water.

According to the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit XI of the Department of Health, the Buhangin district has the highest number of deaths due to dengue fever from January to third week of November 2013.

Four out of seven who died were from Spring Valley.

The present overall leader of the Spring Valley Landless Association, Helen Denila, also lost her daughter due to dengue in June 2010.

Denila has been trying to ask help and aid from the local officials, councilors and community organization for years, but only temporary aids are given.

There was a survey conducted before election but no progress has been made.

The Buhangin Barangay Hall and other government sectors said the Spring Valley is a private property to which the government has no power to direct.

They cannot establish permanent structures as it is the responsibility of the owner.

Instead they have given temporary assistance such as fogging the streets to kill mosquitoes and also cleaning up the canals.

The construction of an open canal was offered by the city but the residents declined fearing for the safety of their children.

The original landowners are also not inclined to do repairs because some residents are not paying for their land.

The problem remains and residents can only hope that the next rain and flood would not be a cost of their lives. (Kristine Elemino)

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