The cause of flood is not poor drainage system

Then what else is causing flood?

Flooding is the most perennial natural disaster problem facing our country nowadays.

Floodings have been always been a problem for years for humanity.

With climate change already here, heavy rainfalls always follow floodings. Flooding in major cities have been always a huge headache for the local government.

Millions of pesos have been spent to alleviate the problem. Government projects from constructing new drainage system to dredging the existing system have so far done little to alleviate the problem.

So what is the problem?

Will a solution ever be found? When you live in small, cramped spaces like Metro Manila, it’s a challenge to follow the schedule of trash collection in your area especially if you are at work.

Even if Manila is below sea level, it still doesn’t explain the high floodwaters. It turns out it is not the the drainage system was not to blame entirely; rather it was the undisciplined garbage disposal by the residents.

People carelessly throw away their trash wherever they please. They think that it will be someone’s else problem. Another reason is some unscrupulous individuals will deliberately clog the drainage system so the public will be forced to ride on their makeshift rafts and charged exorbitantly. Another corrupt practice is scavengers who would collect the garbage for a fee and then toss on the side of the a bridge thinking no one will see them.

Eventually the rains will wash away those trash to the sewer system. There it will pile up and clog the passageway. The water will fill up the drainage and spill over the streets thereby causing floods.

People should be considerate about the environment. The problem will not go away even if people ignore it. It is up to us improve our habits. That includes thinking it is someone else’s problems.

Garbage is everyone’s concern

We must set as an example to our children. Children will do what adults do. That includes throwing the trash anywhere because they think it’s ok when they see adults do it.

Picking up the garbage is everyone’s concern. Children must be taught that throwing away the garbage everywhere is not right. Never treat the environment as one big garbage disposal. Sometimes, the problem is within us. We may not see it, but we’re feeling the consequences of our irresponsibility. We should practice discipline and consistency because what we leave for the next generation will affect them.

Aside from getting people not to throw garbage, there must be a limit in the use of non-biodegradable materials in everyday use. These materials not only clog the sewage system but because it do not degrade therefore it harms our environment.

If it find its way to the ocean, it can be ingested or snared by the marine life and kill them.

How can we help the environment?

We can be part of the solution not part of the problem.

1. Use less packaging
Different kinds of packaging—plastics, waste paper, polystyrene foam (Styrofoam)—make up almost all of our landfills. If you want to save the environment, support the use of environment-friendly packaging like the ones made from recycled materials.

2. You can turn your bio-waste into compost fertilizers
Environmental Recycling System (ERS) machines can convert waste into compost fertilizers. There is a law that households must segregate their garbage to help in reducing the volume of garbage being transported to the dumpsite.

3. Use paper bags instead of plastic bags for your groceries.
Plastic bags is the number one cause of drainage clogging.

4. Recycle used plastic bags as often as possible.
This lessens the manufacture of new plastic bags. Also make sure the plastic bags are biodegradable.

5. Plastic bottles can be recycled as ropes or plastic bricks for construction of low cost houses instead the more expensive concrete blocks.

The need to change.

For some people, change can be hard. Sometimes people don’t want to change their routines as it has become a habit to them. Changing suddenly disrupts their rhythm. It will some gradual encouragement to change for the better.

Attitudes cannot be changed overnight but with proper discipline and instructions to dispose waste, the problem of flooding will be eliminated in time. Do you think it’s time for people to change their ways towards garbage disposal? Give your comments below.

Andreas Klippe

Andreas Klippe is founder of the Asian Center for Flood Control located in Clark Freeport Zone, Philippines.

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Andreas Klippe

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