Prevent flooding by catching rainwater

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) yesterday urged local government units (LGUs), including Cebu City and Mandaue City, to translate the geo-hazard maps into concrete programs and projects to avoid floods.

“We have been proposing that we should construct small water-impounding structures or dams in upland areas following the correct engineering practices. We really need to catch or harvest rainwater,” said Dr. Eddie Llamedo, DENR 7 public information officer.

Last week, Oscar Tabada, Visayas director of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), said heavy rains are expected in the coming weeks and La Niña will come in the last quarter of 2016.

In a water forum of the Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board (MCDCB) last month presided by Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) Acting General Manager Noel Dalena said they are willing to expand the Lusaran and Cotcot Dams.

However, Dalena said it will cost P2 billion, and the banks or foreign lending institutions will not grant them a loan because the National Government will not issue guarantee.

Llamedo said the LGUs must start cleaning the rivers and creeks now after piles of garbage littered the streets following the flooding last July 1.

“This means we have not been observing proper solid waste management. Our geo-hazard maps are reference for us to take the
right programs,” Llamedo said.

He said the problem of flooding has to be addressed by integrating and pooling our resources through strict implementation of a solid waste management ordinance.

Engr. Fortunato Sanchez Jr. of the MCDCB’s infrastructure and utility committee, said their study shows that the rivers and creeks that can been seen on Google map are wide in the upper portion of Cebu City and Mandaue City but narrowing upon reaching the urban centers.

Sanchez said some rivers and creeks have become narrow while others are gone because some people were able to have these areas titled to their names and constructed buildings on them.

Cebu City Councilors Raymond Garcia and Joel Garganera said during the 888 News Forum last Jan. 12 that in aid of legislation, the City Council may look into the circumstances why some rivers and creeks were issued land titles to private individuals.
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