Coastal areas urged to plant bamboos to lessen mitigate disasters

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 October) – Coastal communities should plant bamboos along shorelines to lessen the impact of storm surges and sea swells, an official said Monday.

Speaking at Monday’s weekly Kapehan sa SM, Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Council chair Armando Angsinco said bamboos support the soil as well as provide alternative construction materials.

The official said the bamboo’s root systems can withstand soil erosion caused by water as well as filter heavy metals.

“We’re pushing for the planting of bamboo along the tributaries from the mining areas in Compostela Valley,” Angsinco said. “This way, any contaminated water would not reach the sea.”

Angsinco said communities could access funding from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)’s National Greening Program, adding that even plantation owners should take advantage of bamboo as a crop.

He said provinces such as Davao del Norte and Surigao already host bamboo plantations.

The call to plant bamboos came after a sea swell reportedly battered homes along Davao City’s coastlines last Thursday and Friday.

Last October 10, fire-hit Barangay 23C was told to evacuate to their nearest covered court by members of the city’s Central 911 service.

The same covered court served as their temporary home after a fire that hit 8.8 hectares of the densely populated barangay on April 4 this year.

“It’s like we were affected by fire again,” one resident told reporters last Friday.

Barangay 23C is part of an area known more popularly as Isla Verde.

Central 911 ordered a preventive evacuation for residents of the Aroma beach area, Barpa, Leon Garcia, Bucana, Isla Verde, Dumoy Coastal Area and Punta Dumalag after sea swells hit the areas.

“Residents in the danger zones were already advised to seek temporary shelter away from dangerous zones,” a government advisory said in a Facebook post and text message.

Barangay responders conducted assessment of damage as early as October 9, when the sea swell first hit. (MindaNews)