By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
SORSOGON CITY (BicolToday.com/04-March-2013) – The importance in preserving life, property, crops and environment gained another advocate when the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, an enterprise that supports the federal government of Germany in the field of international development signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Province of Sorsogon to establish a local flood early warning systems(LFEWS) along the thirty one kilometer Cadac-an river that traverses the towns of Irosin and Juban.
The German entity after receiving numerous queries from the Provincial Risk Management Office and the consistent flow of documents from Juban and Irosin realized that Juban and Irosin barangays along the river are susceptible to flooding, volcanic debris and lahar flow. The town of Juban is a catch basin of these materials during rainy season affecting the livelihood, safety and security of the inhabitants.
The concept of the flood early warning system is to enable a community to prepare prior to the onset of flooding. Olaf Neussner of GIZ said that a community should have risk knowledge, monitoring and warning, dissemination and communication and response capability. Here the role of a political unit is necessary, he added. He revealed that the provincial risk management office has identified the high risk area with the cooperation of Juban and Irosin towns. We fear a repetition of the Guinsaogon tragedy in St. Bernard, Southern Leyte because of the large scale destruction, lose of life, livelihood and a tragic environmental waste occurred. That is the role of GIZ, he clarified, to prevent occurrence of a tragedy of such magnitude.
Signing the MOA for the province is Govenor Raul Lee saying that it is an effort of the good planning of the province to value its manpower resources. Flooding can be avoided it needs concerted action of political leaders. Praising the town planning of Juban and Irosin the governor said that their action proved that meager resources is not a hindrance to have a viable development. Olaf Neussner signed for GIZ. Mayor Jimmy Fragata of Juban and Vice-Mayor Menardo Futalan of Irosin signed for their municipality.
GIZ said Neussner will help the local government by sharing their technology expertise and funding, training them to be key players. The local government unit are to collect and monitor rainfall and water-level data and the dissemination of warnings and preparatory activities. It requires political cooperation, commitment and dedicated investment. The responsibility is one of the salient points of the MOA. They must train the communities for them to be guided on such emergency to reduced risk to their lives and properties, he added. [BicolToday.com]
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