DENR-7 urges the public to stop throwing garbage in waterwaysThursday, August 16, 2012 12:00 AM Views : 880Hazel F. Gloria
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 called on the public not to throw garbage in waterways as it is a major cause of flooding during heavy rains.
DENR 7 Executive Director Isabelo Montejo said there is a need to carry out proper waste handling and management in every household since the country continues to experience intensity of typhoons, not to mention the great volume of water that comes with the storm or monsoon rains.
As of 2011, the waste discharge amount of Cebu City is 450 to 500 tons per day, 55 percent of which is residential and the rest, non-residential wastes with 3 percent hospital wastes. The waste collection rate is 80 percent. The waste discharge amount is estimated at 0.5 kilogram per person per day.
"Many uncollected and unsegregated wastes are left spread on the streets or in open lots and find their way into and clog our rivers and esteros, inviting risks to the health and safety of communities," Montejo added.
Solid waste refers to all discarded household, commercial waste, nonhazardous institutional and industrial waste, street sweeping, construction debris, agricultural waste and other non-hazardous and non-toxic solid waste.
"We should continue to make an effort in cleaning some of our waterways of garbage as these would significantly contribute in clogging up thereby hampering the flow of water during heavy rains," Montejo said.
In a related development, DENR continues its implementation of "Adopt-an-Estero" program that encouraged the business sector, together with local government units and civil society groups as part of the agency's massive cleanup and rehabilitation of tributaries of major water bodies.
Montejo said the occurrence of monsoon surge last week affecting several low lying areas in Metro Manila and other places in Luzon is another reason why the program needs to be undertaken at the soonest possible time.
"Clogged waterways coupled with a huge volume of water, especially in urban centers, could cause a major flooding and we do not want a repeat of Ondoy in 2009 and lately a monsoon surge as government warns of more rains to come," he said.
It may be recalled that there are five barangays in Cebu City that are considered to be most hazardous to flooding, namely: Kasambagan, Kinasang-an, Labangon, Mabolo and Bonbon; and seven barangays in Mandaue City to include Subangdaku, Mantuyong, Umapad, Opao, Alang-alang, Guizo and Pakna-an.
The cleanup and rehabilitation of waterways or water bodies entails minimal cost to the adopting entity and practically no cost at all to the government, according to Montejo.
The simplest and most doable scheme, he said, is to set up garbage traps in certain places along an estero.
The adopting entity could then hire people or tap the surrounding community to periodically collect the trapped garbage to prevent these from floating downstream.