This sem, me and my groupmates have a project. Working with the La Liga Policy Institute, a local NGO, we were tasked with exploring and reporting any progress with regards to disaster prevention within the Marikina River and its surrounding area. I don’t think this project could have come at a better time; as the battery of typhoons within the last decade alone has shown, the Philippines lives in a relatively fragile location. She suffers from the excessive outpouring rains of a tropical country and the wild variability caused by climate change. We have then now a chance to understand how we can safeguard against these disasters for a safer future.
When it comes to flood mitigation, it’s a two pronged strategy. The first step is actual structural flood mitigation. We need to improve the sewage and drainage systems in Marikina, pave the roads to reduce rubble and other debris from accumulating, organize new and existing structures to ensure they are not flood-damage prone, and dredge the Marikina river regularly. On the other hand, we also need non-structural mitigation, by implementing a social environment that is prepared for disaster. This means having emergency services, public awareness regarding how to handle a crisis, and the implementation of policies that promote and enforce effective waste management.
There are actually initiatives already in place for these projects, but, as always, it’s a work in progress. Me and my group are here to study the actual implementation of these initiatives, and check to make sure that the projects are on track, or if there exists some embezzling along the way. It’s an interesting project, that will hopefully reveal more about our current disaster preparation status, as well as encourage and invoke further progress in the area.
– Brian Carlos L. Robles, 2011-41567