The river fever

Sun.Star Baguio - - Opinion -

IAM afraid that your Ikarao son is start­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence the in­flu­ence of the year of the pig—I gained weight of more than a kilo for the past hol­i­days.

I spent the last week of 2018 with my fam­ily at Karao, Bokod. The wrath of typhoon Om­pong gave a new façade of the small vil­lage. The river, the main source of farm ir­ri­ga­tion, over­flowed caus­ing dam­ages to agri­cul­ture and in­fra­struc­ture fa­cil­i­ties in the barangay. Un­for­tu­nately, it de­stroyed two houses and af­fected other struc­tures in­clud­ing roads, flood lev­ees and live­stock cages.

The on­go­ing con­struc­tion of the flood con­trol project in the barangay added changes to the orig­i­nal state of the river. With the in­tro­duc­tion of the de­vel­op­ment, it is con­tin­u­ously re­vi­tal­iz­ing the al­ready crys­tal-clear and re­fresh­ing wa­ter flow­ing from the foot of Mt. Pu­lag gen­tly slop­ing to­wards Am­buk­lao Dam.

While prac­tic­ing my swim­ming skills in the river­bank, ev­ery­thing flashed back to me since child­hood. The river is home to many chil­dren, es­pe­cially dur­ing lunchtime and week­ends. It serves as a venue for fam­i­lies to have closer ties while en­joy­ing the bless­ings of the wa­ter.

How­ever, there is an is­sue on waste man­age­ment. I used to live be­side the river and im­proper dis­posal of garbage is ob­vi­ously ev­i­dent. Some re­solve to burn­ing, oth­ers just throw their garbage near the wa­ter­side and roughly, only a few bury wastes in their back­yards.

I re­mem­ber that our si­tio has a cen­tral­ized dump­ing area be­fore which was lo­cated near the river riprapped with stones. I know that the lo­cal of­fi­cials also did some dig­ging in most of the sitios but the whole com­mu­nity should work to­gether in or­der to pre­serve and pro­tect the clean­li­ness of the trea­sured river. This is my chal­lenge to all politi­cians who filed their candidacy that one of their thrusts must be on en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship.

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