When taps run dry
DESPITE seeing faucets go dry or having their water rationed, Filipinos show varying levels of concern about drought, a study conducted by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) said.
Only 12 percent of Filipinos reported feeling extremely concerned about being affected by drought, the HHI DisasterNet Philippines study said. The study, conducted in 2017 with 4,368 adult respondents, is the first nationwide household survey on disaster preparedness in the Philippines, an HHI press release said.
According to the report, at the national average, only 12 percent of Filipinos reported feeling extremely concerned, 24 percent were concerned, 21 percent were somewhat concerned, 16 percent were a little concerned, and 26 percent were not at all concerned of being affected by drought.
In regions where there was less rainfall in the last five months associated with the weak El Niño in the Pacific Ocean, less than half of each region’s population expressed any concern about being impacted by drought, the study sai d.
It added that in Zamboanga Peninsula, where Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay have been experiencing drought since February this year, only 25 percent were concerned about drought before the disaster. Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Sibugay and Pagadian City have already been placed under a state of calamity.
The study said, in terms of preparedness, a mere 2.4 percent of the country’s population reported having a plan for dr ought .
In addition, the study showed that fewer Filipinos, 4.3 percent, think that the delayed onset of the rainy season is a consequence of climate change. Even as a significant part of the population, 42 percent, cited that the impact of climate change poses a high level of threat to them and 83 percent said they had experienced the effects of climate change.
The weather bureau said a weak El Niño started this month and will continue in May. Rainfall this year is expected to start in June and continue to August.
Looking at these percentages, you would see how consumers are concerned only about the immediate, that there is no water for cooking, laundry and bathing, and not realize what came before and what could happen in the future.
They complain about no water but they do not think of what must have caused it except to point to the so-called usual suspects–corrupt government officials and irresponsible water service providers.
But climate change is a factor to why the dry season started early or the wet season will be delayed. And what are the causes of climate change? Practices of companies or individuals that damage the environment.
There is no more denying that climate change is here and is causing water, air and food supply to go awry.
This was the same message of students who walked out of their classrooms in over 100 countries to protest climate inaction in a “global climate strike.” They said their governments failed them and future generations by not acting to curb global warming and carbon emissions.