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Don’t kill natural flood-control mechanisms

05:02 AM January 03, 2019

Tropical depression “Usman,” in the week between Christmas and New Year, once again brought to the surface the perennial problem of flooding in the Rinconada district of Camarines Sur.

Rinconada, like Naga City, lies right in the Bicol River basin. It will always be a flood-prone area no matter what.

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That it has three lakes—Buhi, Bato and Baao—suggests it is in a place that lies lower than its neighbors. It is destined to catch water.

But it doesn’t mean we can’t mitigate the situation. Efficient land use plan is key. Do not put up residential areas near bodies of water. Do not just widen or build roads or any other infrastructure without checking hydrology. Do not convert agricultural areas without thinking thrice.

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And let the Bicol River—the three lakes included because they are integral parts of the waterway—take its natural course. Don’t block. Don’t divert. Don’t abuse.

Fishery in the three lakes, after all, is just a by-product. While we cannot do away with the bread and butter of thousands of Rinconada folk, we have to remind ourselves that the lakes are there primarily to impound water in order to release it slowly. The natural flood-control mechanisms, however, are dying with silt and greed. Sadly, regulation is far behind, if not totally absent.

The commerce of men has been given greater importance over the balance of nature. There lies the problem.

JONA CABILES SOLTES,
member, Sangguniang Bayan, Camarines Sur, [email protected]

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