Regular cleanup of Lake Lanao shore planned

John Unson - Philstar.com
Regular cleanup of Lake Lanao shore planned
Police personnel and civilian volunteers collect trash along the shore of Lake Lanao.
John Unson

LANAO DEL SUR, Philippines — Volunteers over the weekend collected tons of waste from the shores of Lake Lanao in line with the national government's efforts to clean up important waterways.

Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman, an environmentalist and former vice governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, told reporters Sunday the activity was organized by the Lanao del Sur provincial police, provincial and municipal officials and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Lucman has a group that planted more than 100,000 bamboo and forest tree seedlings in flood-prone areas and in hinterlands overlooking Lake Lanao, the largest in Asia, while he was still ARMM vice governor.

Lucman and ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman vacated their posts last week to pave the way for the assumption of appointed officials of the infant Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, a new region that will have a parliamentary form of government and that is meant to have more autonomy than the ARMM.

Water coursing from the lake to the seashores of Lanao del Norte province propels hydroelectric plants supplying about three fourths of Mindanao’s daily power needs.

Mukaram said Saturday’s clean-up activity shall be done regularly.

“We ought to thank the mayors, their chiefs of police, the local communities and the provincial government of Lanao del Sur for helping us clean the shores of Lake Lanao. More of such activities will be initiated soon,” Mukaram said.

Lucman said he is certain the newly-created BARMM environment and natural resources ministry, led by Abdulrauf Macacua, will focus on programs meant to protect Lake Lanao.

Hataman banned through an executive order in 2012 all logging operations in tropical rainforests around Lake Lanao.

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