ORO plagues - Baha, Basura, Tubig, Traffic, Koryente: Unsay Solution?
Our first and second in the series discussed the scientific geological assessment and proposed massive reforestation needed to solve floods. Our question is, how are we going to do it?
I have five proposals:
1. Massive reforestation to address floods and other related problems with the planting of bamboo, timber, fruits, vegetables and integration with livestock should be done in the national, regional and local level.
In the City Government, this one can generate jobs for planters, restore the ecosystem, improve agricultural productivity, prevent floods, hold water for energy; and provide food and housing for our people. In Cagayan de oro, we can have an initial appropriation of P100-P150 million a year for this purpose to build nurseries, regularly have a reforestation team under CLENRO and to coordinate with other government agencies like the DA, DENR, civic groups, barangays, schools to help in a massive planting during the rainy season.
Planting trees do not end there. Maintenance is as important because the cogon grass will eat up the young trees, thus the need for regular planners/consultants, personnel, vehicles and equipment. With drought and scarcity of water, building water catchment basins and swales are as important too. The regional and national government can appropriate P2 billion a year to sustain this program to restore watersheds in the MisOr, Lanao, Bukidnon areas and other watersheds and forests which are already denuded and destroyed by rampant destructive logging and which water drains into the Oro rivers in cases of flash floods.
2. Integrate fruits, vegetables, staple foods and livestock into the system in the community level. It also solves hunger and produce organic food. With our tree, fruits and vegetable nurseries and composting systems on the community level, the people are not only going to solve floods but also find alternative sources of food, shelter and livelihood. Thus, the sustainability of the program can be enhanced on the community level.
3. Build the bamboo industry. Bamboo is fast growing which takes 5-10 years. We have a total log ban without exemptions but bamboo is a plant. We can cut and use it anytime. It regrows perpetually anyway. It grows again every time you cut it. Imagine the houses you can construct if we solve and develop the bamboo industry by treating the poles biologically and processing them mechanically. You've got nice amakan for low cost housing and even bamboo ply board and tiles to generate P150thousand 2 bedroom houses which are already very decent and therefore generate employment in the countryside. In Bohol, a budget of P10,000 to P15,000 with the aid of volunteers would be enough to build bamboo homes for the homeless under the leadership of Bishop Abet Uy. We can integrate this into our city housing program to build eco-comunities in the country side.
4. Strengthen tourism. When you restore the ecosystem, you get an attraction of nature back like what we have in Vancouver and British Columbia or even in Bohol and Palawan. Our tree seedling machines here in Canada produce 500 to 1000 seedlings an hour all required to be planted. Imagine the effect if the Philippines have these kind of machines for tree seedling production in all regions or states like in the province of British Columbia. Then, our natural tourist spots will be protected, livable and attractive even to Filipinos abroad who want to retire in their own country.
5. Appropriate technology-permaculture. In Australia, they call this Permaculture where water catchments and swales are created and designed to store all the rain water in the ground which are necessary for life and natural irrigation. Equipment like bulldozers and backhoes should be part of the requirements to do this. We can even have small fishponds to supply our fish, eggs from organic chickens, In Taguanao, my family has built 2 tree houses, 4 cottages out of the materials planted. We have 16 full grown bamboo which are more than enough to build at least 2 decent beautiful homes.
They call it greening the desert in Jordan, Green Gold in the Louise Plateau of China. The miracle of it all in China is that what used to be a flooded community downhill has been transformed into a flood free and food productive land after this large scale landscape restoration took place.