THE waist-high flooding incident that was experienced on Monday evening, October 25, showed that Davao City still has a long way to go to address the flooding problem and other climate hazards, according to a local environmental group.
In a statement from the Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (Idis) issued on Tuesday, October 26, the group urged the City Government to take more steps in mitigating and reducing the impacts of floods.
"Severe flooding is the consequence of alteration of waterways from natural creeks to constructed canals, reduction of porous surfaces, reclamation of wetlands, poorly maintained drains, and most importantly, the large volume of plastic wastes clogging drainage systems," Idis said.
The group also said the flooding incidents experienced in the city have been disrupting lives in almost all areas.
"While there are a lot of factors that contribute to the City coming to a standstill during or after heavy rains, we see that plastic pollution worsens the flooding, especially in highly built and urbanized areas in Davao," they said.
Among the actions that the city must do, according to Idis, is fast-tracking the implementation of the “No to Single-use Plastic Ordinance” and the strict implementation and monitoring of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
The environmental group also said there must be a strict implementation of the Local Zoning Ordinance, and prohibiting residential developments at identified Floodway Mitigation Zones.
It also said that there must be an increase in urban greenery and protect blue spaces such as wetlands and creeks; strengthen the implementation and monitoring of rainwater harvesting and permeable pavement ordinance; and promote and integrate nature-based solutions in all development projects.
"Davao City also needs a programmatic combination of ‘grey’ and ‘green’ infrastructure or Low-Impact Developments (LID) for construction projects for both government and private sectors," Idis said.
The City Government must also prioritize the Drainage Master Plan integrating a network of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (Suds), providing flood detention/retention areas, trenches, bioswales, built wetlands, rehabilitation of creeks, and waterways, the group said.
Project developers and contractors are also urged to observe existing laws, especially those that involve urban environment protection and the mitigation of hazards.
"These policies are in place to protect you and, most especially, the people from any untoward climate- or disaster-related incidents that proposed projects may contribute," Idis said.
The group also urged the public to segregate their waste properly, and not throw it in canals, creeks, waterways, and open spaces.
Several areas in the city experienced waist-high floods on Monday evening.
Flood water in some areas in the city had not subsided as of 12 noon Tuesday, October 26.