City residents are no stranger to poor and unmaintained drainage canal or the lack of it. During heavy rains, several parts of the city especially those in low-lying areas and no drainage canal are flooded.
It is high time that development projects such as housing subdivisions, and other projects, should require drainage plan, and not only a drainage plan, but a drainage canal and support infrastructures also. We have observed that while there are concrete roads but there’s no drainage canal. The result is disastrous. Flood will affect not only residents in low lying areas but also in areas without drainage canals.
Our country is among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Most of these impacts are avertible. Flooding, for instance, has affordable primary prevention mechanisms such as flood control structures such as dams, dikes and drainage systems. Poor drainage and solid waste disposal problems aggravated the impacts of typhoons and heavy rains.
Areas around creeks and waterways have become densely populated and encroached by informal settlers, affecting water flow and preventing maintenance. Wastes consisting mostly of single-use plastic, sando bags, sachets and plastic bottles clog waterways and water bodies.
While heavy and excessive rainfall is part of the new normal due to climate change, we do not deserve to live with the vulnerabilities that disrupt our social and economic activities. We do not deserve to have flooded streets due to absence of drainage canals, overflowing wastewater due to lack of sanitation infrastructures, poorly maintained and unpaved roads for every intense rain or typhoon.
Our government should undertake a more people-centered approach to decision-making by elaborating policies that highlight sustainable development, approving an inclusive budget that benefits more vulnerable people and promoting nature-based solutions to ensure that all communities are safe from flooding.
The government is challenged to move forward in a balanced manner such that we do not only adapt but come out stronger, to give what is right and just to our people who have long deserved a safer and better life.
Our government must practice enhanced disaster risk reduction and local preparedness more than focusing on responding when a disaster has already occurred. We must make ourselves more proactive in reducing risks.
The absence of a modern integrated drainage system in the city will only worsen the situation. Our local leaders and the public should immediately unite and start coming up with a solution, otherwise it will be too late to solve the problem.
We must recognize that the climate crisis persists. It is therefore compulsory that we should act immediately and reform the way we live and regard our environment so that we all survive and thrive in the midst of the changing climate.