City employs measure to alleviate water crisis
CEBU, Philippines — With the effects of the weak El Niño, the Cebu City government is employing several measures to ensure that its constituents, even those deprived of liberty, will have enough supply of water.
The insufficient water supply is also experienced inside the jam-packed Cebu City Jail-Male Dormitory which has exceeded its capacity as it currently houses 5,721 inmates, an excess of 4,121 inmates since the facility is designed to house 1,600 people only.
Councilor David Tumulak said the city’s Department of Public Services is repairing the damaged artesian wells, deep wells, jetmatic pumps, among other sources of water in the city.
The City Health Department is also tasked to check the safety of the city’s wells.
The Cebu City Agriculture Department (CAD) noted that the phenomenon is affecting at least 133 farmers in 28 upland barangays based on the initial data gathered weeks ago.
Just recently, CAD noted that at least P14.9 million worth of crops have also been affected by the weak El Niño.
With this, the City Council scheduled an executive session on April 30 to discuss the extent of the damage of the phenomenon.
In an approved resolution, Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia called Metropolitan Cebu Water District and Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office to attend to the executive session to possibly implement measures that would alleviate the effect of the El Niño.
In a separate approved resolution, Councilor Joel Garganera also asked all offices under the city government to employ measures that will help in conserving water.
As for the water sampling, Tumulak said personnel from CHD also taught the residents on how to treat the water from deep wells and jetmatic pumps.
As of 2015, Tumulak said the city has 1,365 artesian wells, 226 jetmatic pump, 159 spring box, and 201 concrete water reservoir.
As for the repair and rehabilitation of the jetmatic pumps, Tumulak said the initiative will also assist the insufficient water supply from the Metropolitan Cebu Water District.
If there are wells and jetmatic pumps or other source of water supply that are damaged, he said the people should contact the city through DPS for its repair and maintenance.
Also, Tumulak said the city is currently doing a listing of barangays that are affected by the scarcity of water.
He said Mactan Rock Industries, Inc. (MRII) vowed to assist in augmenting water supply for the city.
Meanwhile, Cebu City Jail Male Dormitory Warden Renante Rubio requested the city government, through Tumulak, for additional supply because of the number of inmates inside the facility.
Rubio, in his letter, said the insufficient water supply has been recently addressed by replacement and installation of water booster pump to enhance water supply operation.
However, he said the influx of inmates and the El Niño phenomenon contributed to the water supply problem.
“Life depends greatly on water and any hygienic problem related to the water supply scarcity can create havoc in the day to day activities specially that we are rationing water to every dorm,” he said.
With this, Tumulak said the city and the MCWD agreed to augment the water supply in the facility at least thrice a week.
In Bantayan Island, at least 2, 550 seaweed growers in Bantayan and Sta. Fe towns are affected of the dry spell that hit the province.
The seaweeds are inflicted by “ice-ice” disease because of intense heat caused by El Nino.
Roldan Saragena, the provincial agriculturist, said growers are forced to harvest their seaweeds even if these are not fully grown yet to avoid rotting.
Saragena said he visited the island last week and was able to witness the effect of the dry spell to the seaweed growers.
At least 350 hectares of seaweeds are affected by the phenomenon, 300 hectares are in Bantayan and 50 hectares are in Sta. Fe.— Le Phyllis F. Antojado MBG (FREEMAN)