Obando’s fight vs floods sees hope in bamboo

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CHILDREN swim in the flooded streets of Obando, Bulacan, a town trying to deal with floods that are regular occurrences because of high tide. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Obando is a coastal Bulacan town that is first affected by high tide in Manila Bay each year.

Pending the completion of the government’s flood control projects, Obando has been raising mud dikes, anchored by bamboo poles, to help stop the bay from discharging toward Obando’s residential and commercial centers, said Mayor Edwin Santos.

The floods had prompted local officials and school authorities to cancel classes in all levels in private and public schools on Monday and Tuesday, Santos said.

“We decided to suspend classes because water rose inside campuses. Had the flood just affected the roads, we would have found a way to ferry them to and from school at government expense, but that was not the case,” he said.

The high tide had also inundated roads, preventing some motorists to travel to their places of work, he said.

Classes resumed on Wednesday after the floodwater, which rose at 4.9 feet on Tuesday, receded.

“We have been visiting villages and schools near the bay and we have set up dikes using bamboo poles to protect these settlements from the floods. We need to raise a minimum of 10,000 bamboo poles to complete this task,” Santos said.

He said the provincial government has been apprised about the town’s initiative and is waiting for donations of bamboo poles from various groups in Bulacan.

In the coastal town of Hagonoy, school officials scheduled special class hours and days to coincide with days in the week when the tide is low, in order to reduce the number of suspended class hours for this school year. Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Inquirer Central Luzon

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