Floating solutions for flooding woes
By Karl Aries Emerson F. Cabilao, UAP
THE haunting song by the British duo, Eurhythmics, may have come to the minds of many in the past few weeks. After risking ourselves with dehydration and heat stroke during the summer and the months before that with El Niño, fanning its fiery breath on many areas in the country, the rains have come again.
It has been a common equation that with heavy rains, flooding in many cities would occur. And by flooding, people do not just refer to patches of mud pools on the streets and sidewalks but roads and highways metamorphosing into raging rivers with more than waist-deep water. Just taking a look at some photographs uploaded on social media of roads around Metro Cebu when a heavy downpour caused by the re-entry of the southwest monsoon winds flooded streets on the first weekend of July. For instance, A.S. Fortuna St. in Mandaue City was completely impassable to many vehicles due to the high floodwaters. Many were also stranded in their schools and work places, and you guessed it right, road traffic was closed to a standstill.
Post-flood scenarios are like broken records, too, with local government leaders “talking again” about possible flood fixes, which is a clear evidence of how re-active (instead of being pro-active) our government is.
Attention to infrastructure development has always come second to vertical development, which consists of the construction of buildings and high-rises. These buildings drain additional waste water to ancient or inefficiently-sized or installed drainage pipes. Ideally, a proper zoning plan and the laying out of vital infrastructure would have come first before buildings are allowed to go up. But then again, we cannot just bomb the entire city and start with the ideal plan from scratch. We just have to do what we have to do considering all the existing structures and buildings and how the problem of flooding can be minimized. Read some suggestions from these readers.
“There’s a lot of major factors to consider in solving flood problems in the metropolis. However, because we urgently need immediate action, one effective way I can suggest is to maintain a clean and clog-free, working drainage system starting within the barangay level. With the leadership of our barangay officials and the cooperation of the residents, we can identify the areas that need to be addressed right away. If there is no action done like this, it would take so long to solve the problem if we depend on the long term solutions.” — Anne Marie Bernabe, architect / real estate broker
“Constructing and improving our drainage system would actually take some time. However, that’s our main goal to address our flooding problems. But the most immediate way to lessen the problem of flooding in our city while we are working our way on improving our drainage is to properly dispose of our garbage. That is, in my opinion, is the easiest and fastest way. It may be simple but this one is actually a huge help in a number of ways. First, the drainage system wouldn’t be clogged. Second, aside from preventing the flood, it would contribute to recycling, and lastly it would prevent the spread of diseases.” — Jude Ross Avila, post graduate intern
“A quick fix solution I can suggest is to install water pumping stations in known flood areas so it can immediately stop the rise of floodwater and redirect these instead to appropriate waterways or rivers.” — Adrian Carlo Jamiliarin, self-employed
“We should consider rainwater as a blessing and not a curse. Unfortunately, our city is not equipped to handle strong downpours. Drainage and sewage planning and management should be worked on for starters. But we must also find ways to collect and re-use the rainwater we get so much in abundance of. Let’s convert our roofs into rain collectors and use rainwater for washing, flushing, cleaning.” — Carlo Borromeo, marketing guy/guitarist