Why not a dam?

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide (The Freeman) - December 3, 2020 - 12:00am

For years on end, I have been writing, in this column, about a sanctuary. In those articles, I dared to describe the sanctuary as an ultimate kind of evacuation center in times of catastrophic disasters. While the concept was intended primarily for our city leaders to consider, it was, in essence, of probable countrywide application. Thus, when super typhoon Yolanda hit the country in November 2013, i could only sigh that had a sanctuary been set up, in places worst hit, like Tacloban City in Leyte and Bogo City here in Cebu, the devastation could have been somehow minimized and the peoples’ suffering mitigated. I then kept on writing about sanctuaries because I am one prepared to light a proverbial candle rather than curse the darkness.

 Pastor “Jun” Alcover, former congressman and Cebu City councilor, recently gave a huge push to the sanctuary concept, largely on account of his pro-people mind frame. My proposition received a tremendous boost. He urged the establishment of evacuation center. His idea is not entirely dissimilar to what I have been frequently writing about all these years. Soon, Congressman Nograles joined Alcover in pointing out the immediate need for the construction of evacuation centers and because these are heavyweights of public leaders, I am certain that a fruition of my dream is near at hand.

With Alcover and Nograles egging government to undertake these infrastructure projects, it is time for me to rivet my attention on one other suggestion - the construction of a dam in the upland part of Cebu City. To start, let me ask what is common among Ambuklao, Angat, Magat and Pantabangan. These are concrete dams that retain and store river and rain water for agriculture, commercial and industrial purposes. These facilities supply the water needs of most Luzon. The hydro-electric plants that are engineered in these dams are sources of electric power.

I am not saying that government should erect a Pantabangan like dam here in Cebu. That will be disproportionate to our need and the expense inexplicable. Let us take into account that our rivers do not carry the huge volume of water flowing in Luzon rivers. But, our engineers and technical people can identify where along the course of the water from Lusaran, as an example, can we construct a dam high enough to retain the volume of water from a weeklong heavy downpour. It is our experience that every time heavy rain falls, our banks overflow and flooding results. It happens because the water just rampages freely downward and when the flow is impeded by man-made structures, (not to mention garbage mindlessly thrown) flash floods occur. Necessarily, when water is retained in the dam, the possibility of flooding and concomitant damage are minimized.

Here is another obvious benefit from constructing a dam. The Jaclupan dam that collects the water of the Mananga River is our main source of potable water with the Buhisan dam the secondary source. Yet, many times these reservoirs reached low levels as to affect adversely the supply of water. We normally experience this in the dry months of February to May. In these months only droplets of water get thru our faucets. There is therefore a need for water containment facility to add to the current water supply. Certainly, when another dam is constructed, it can fill the need and augment, as a result, the water service to quench our thirst.

May there be Alcovers and Nograleses in our midst to push this call.

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