DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 May) – Environmental group Interface Development Interventions for Sustainability, Inc. (IDIS) said that “unregulated and unmonitored activities” are polluting the Panigan-Tamugan Watershed, the next water source of Davao City, after it collected assorted solid wastes, including used face masks and face shields during a clean-up drive last April 30.
In a statement on Wednesday, the environmental group said the recovered wastes are made of plastic materials that could remain in the environment for decades to hundreds of years, causing adverse effects on the environment and the people.
The group added that Bantay Bukid Volunteers blamed the increase in disposal of wastes to the increase in various activities, among them swimming, construction of structures like cottages, and laundry that encourage influx of people into the river.
IDIS added that these activities and the improper waste disposal need urgent solutions.
The group said it lobbied for the regulation of activities in Panigan-Tamugan to the Watershed Management Council (WMC), which submitted a resolution “regulating recreational activities in watershed areas” to the City Council of Davao.
Last May 14, lawyer Mark Peñalver, IDIS executive director, said that the freshwater ecosystem like rivers are threatened, especially those located within urban areas, due to unregulated and untreated wastewater discharges.
“What the local government unit should do is to monitor and ensure that those establishments operating near, as well as those directly discharging their wastewater to, these water bodies are compliant with the mandate provided under the Clean Water Act,” he said.
Peñalver also urged the local government to act on the leachate coming from the sanitary landfill in Barangay New Carmen, seeping into the nearby Matina Pangi River.
“As we all know, these leachates are liquid produced from wastes and these carry with them harmful substances that pollute the water body and affect water quality leading towards the degradation of its ecological life,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)