Sunday, May 29, 2011

LGUs urged to step up declogging operations as typhoon Chedeng nears

As the country braces for typhoon Chedeng, a waste and pollution watchdog urged local government units (LGUs) to declog storm drains and creeks to ease flood risk.

The EcoWaste Coalition made the appeal as Chedeng further gains strength and threatens to dump rains in many parts of the country, including Metro Manila.

“We urge local authorities, as well as neighborhood associations, to remove garbage and other debris in waterways that can worsen the flood situation, especially in flood-prone areas,” said Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Whether Chedeng will change its course and hit Metro Manila or not, it’s important for all canals and creeks to be garbage-free to prevent localized flash floods after downpours,” he added.

“It’s better for our communities to be ready rather than be caught flatfooted by floods,” he emphasized.

The EcoWaste Coalition reminded the public to recall the “epic floods” of Ondoy and fulfill one's environmental responsibility to minimize the effects of nature’s wrath.

“Environmental discipline is necessary to keep our waterways garbage-free,” Alvarez said.

Towards this, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the public, especially Metro Manila’s over two million households to reduce their waste size, shun littering and dumping, and to separate their discards at source for reusing, recycling and composting.

“By cutting our waste size and safely managing our discards, we avoid turning our streets and rivers into dumping sites and flood ponds after heavy rains,” he added.

Among the high flood risk areas as identified by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the EcoWaste Coalition said these include Sampaloc and Rizal Avenue corner R. Papa in Manila; Makati Diversion Channel along South Superhighway and Buendia Avenue in Makati City.

Also considered as flood-prone areas are Maysilo Circle, Boni Avenue, Panaderos Street, Kalentong Street, Acacia Lane and Shaw Boulevard, all in Mandaluyong City; Barangay Salapan and Bagong Bato in San Juan City; and Barangays Imelda, Damayang Lagi, Tatalon and Talayan in Quezon City.

Aside from enforcing the salient provisions of R.A. 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, the EcoWaste Coalition also urged LGUs to rehabilitate drainage facilities in their respective areas, noting that some canals are heavily silted or have collapsed in the course of time.

“A systematic rehabilitation of our aging drainage system will go a long way in reducing destruction to life and property caused by flood woes,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.


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