Heavy rains last week rendered so many residents homeless in specific areas of the city, including barangays in the highlands. The floods were quite traumatic as most of those who were affected lost their belongings to the rampaging waters. This has been getting worse over the years and even if some residents were able to construct second and third floors, they are still threatened by flashfloods.
Environmentalists opined that the flood has worsened in the past few years because of the relentless conversion of our forest lands to industrial and residential purposes. The clearing of vast areas up in the mountains have endangered not only our watershed but our lives as well. What used to be thick forests that ensured our water system slowly gave way man’s economic needs. This is not sustainable, many indigenous people said.
There is a resurgence of tree planting in slopes and other areas in the hinterlands. But like the previous programs, planting should be supplemented with caring for the saplings until they become sturdy. This needs the support and participation of the community, otherwise, planting trees will be in vain.
One of the reasons of the floods that we experience, both coastal flooding or floods due to rain, is the extreme weather changes. Rainfall volume has become higher and rains, more frequent. This entails a global solution and what we can do at the moment is to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.
What is doable at this time, is for us to clean our waterways and canals. Flood control projects should also be in place especially as our city’s infrastructure development is moving at a very fast pace. At the recent Philconstruct exhibit at SMX Convention Center, the organization’s chair said there is a need for a new masterplan to control the constant flooding in the city.
PhilConstruct Mindanao chair Ramon Allado said that many areas in the city are below sea level and with the rapid growth experienced in the past years, government should act now or be just other metropolitan cities like Manila.
It’s not too late to stop the flooding. We need to change our behaviors especially in waste management and in appreciating and caring for our natural environment.