COUNCILOR Elaine Sembrano appealed to public for cooperative efforts in the clean-up of the Baguio City’s rivers, during the Bued river dialogue recently.

Sembrano, who chairs the committee on health and sanitation, ecology and environmental protection, said having a clean river is achievable and not an impossibility.

The dialogue included environment officers, barangay officials and institution entities, including adoptors of portions of the river system.

Engr. Moises Lozano, head of the Wastewater, Water Ambience Management Division (WAMD), explained as Bued river passes through 25 barangay, pollutants abound.

Contaminants from the tributaries to the main river body include garbage, soil, grease and oil, human waste, laundry soaps and detergents, and animal wastes.

Reports of animal waste in the river system is alarming, Lozano said, as it contains more contaminants. City Ordinances mandate that poultry and piggery with a limited number, are not allowed in urban areas, he added.

Disposal of illegal wastewater has also corresponding fines and penalties.

Upstream and downstream river walkthroughs have been conducted, meetings, education and information campaigns, surveys and feeding programs in the barangays, Lozano further said, with trainings and alternative technology such as vermiculture and biogas digester.

The City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) through the WAMD supports dialogues, clean-ups, and agency meetings with stake holders and the City Water Resource Board.

During the forum, Engr. Mario de Vera of the Export Processing Zone in Loakan, where the Bued river passes through, expressed concern on cleanliness downstream as more clean-ups are done upstream.

Signages urging cleanliness consciousness may be posted in strategic places, he said.

The river has improved with observable live creatures, de Vera said. Private sewage treatment has helped in keeping it that way, Lozano said. (Julie Fianza/PIO)