Water runs low in Borbon, Dalaguete due to dry spell

By: Jessie D. Campos, Michelle Joy L. Padayhag, Victor Anthony V. Silva January 23,2016 - 12:36 AM

Water supply is running low in the towns of Borbon in the north and Dalaguete in the south because of the prevailing dry spell caused by the El Niño phenomenon.

At least 13 upland barangays in Dalaguete  are affected although the situation is not yet alarming yet, said  Mayor Ronald Allan Cesante.

He said farmers in the upland areas, also known as Cebu’s vegetable basket, have noticed a “marked decrease” in the water levels in the springs.

In Borbon, the municipal government has been delivering potable water to  upland areas since the last quarter of 2015, said Mayor Bernard “Butch” Sepulveda.

But the situation has not yet reached a critical level, he told Vice Gov. Agnes A. Magpale over the phone yesterday.

“Nangandam lang mi, Vice Gov (We’re just preparing for any eventuality, Vice Gov),” Sepulveda said.

El Niño is forecast to last until May this year, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.

Provincial Agriculturist Roldan Saragena said he will send a team to verify the situation in Borbon and Dalaguete.

“We’ve had three straight weeks of heat, but we haven’t received any reports. There might be something brewing in the towns, but they haven’t sent their data yet,” he told Cebu Daily News.

He said the provincial agriculturist’s office is coordinating with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRMMO) in monitoring the impact of the El Niño  by visiting affected towns at least once a week.

Agriculturists from all over Cebu will meet at the Capitol on February 4 to discuss the effects of El Niño.

“That’s where we will assess which towns we will prioritize with our intervention,” said Saragena.

He said the provincial government has allotted funds for five water impounding and water catchment facilities for affected towns in its 2016 budget.

The Capitol will also start distributing 1,040 plastic drums to affected LGUs starting this month, Saragena said.

In Dalaguete, Mayor Cesante said they were preparing for the worst-case scenario. Of the 13 areas of concern, only five have existing irrigation systems.

“Water for farming is not our only concern. We also need to think about potable water for the residents, especially in the mountain barangays,” he said.

The municipal government is looking at developing five springs and building water reservoirs.

Cesante said they have also purchased a water rationing vehicle to bring potable water to residents.

“Although we are preparing for it, we still hope we don’t get to reach a point where we ration our water supply already,” said Cesante.

At present, the mayor said vegetable production has fared better in the last three weeks compared to the last few months of 2015 because of the rains at night, he added.

In Borbon, Mayor Sepulveda said water sources in the upland areas have dried up.

Farmers have reported parched farmlands affecting about 260 hectares of corn, 90 hectares of vegetables and 240 hectares of banana.

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TAGS: Borbon, Cebu, Dalaguete, El Niño, supply, water

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