A lesson still unlearned
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
For several days now, Metro Manila and several towns and cities in Luzon have been inundated with floodwater, attributed by some to the incessant rain that has been pouring over the areas affected.
Of course environmentalists and realists know better. Rains of similar volumes have been falling in our country since time immemorial, but never has it known waters to rise in metropolitan areas, in such depths, or that had not ebbed or subsided after several days. What they know, and what our people are gradually coming to realize, is that all this is being caused by their own negligence or recklessness in the way they have been disposing of their wastes all these years.
The killer floods that hit Luzon again just about three years after the tragedy that was brought by “Ondoy”, can again be attributed to such heedlessness to warnings about the effects of such carelessness.
An article released by the Agence France Presse, states that such deadly floods “are less a natural disaster, and more the result of poor planning, lax enforcement and political self-interest.” It also pointed to damaged watersheds, massive squatter colonies living in danger zones, and neglect of drainage system as the fact that have made Manila, especially, much more vulnerable to such floodings.
We do not need them to tell us that. Over and over, our environmentalists and even our own officials have been hammering this into our consciousness, but, somehow, the political will needed to do something about the problem has not yet been mustered.
We only have to gape at the truckloads of garbage dumped on Manila Bay by the floodwaters. We also saw the mountains of trash carried out from a creek at Araneta Avenue, one of the main thoroughfares of Quezon City. Any simple dredging of canals in our towns or cities would draw out tons of garbage, much of it non-biodegradable, clogging the waterways, and just waiting for a strong downpour to flood our people out.
The lesson has been repeated over and over. What have we learned from it, so far?*