We have had the elniño phenomenon in the past but this year’s el niño is the hottest I have ever felt. Last week the Sangguniangnlalawigan declared Bohol in a state of calamity because more than P300 million in agricultural crops have been damaged by severe dry season resulting from very hot temperatures.
I passed by theMalinao irrigation dam in Pilar last week and five (5) teams of soccer players could play soccer at the same time in the dam’s area once filled withbluish water. Now it is almost all dried up and so are the rice paddies of farmers who are tilling more than 10,000 hectares that used to be serviced by the irrigation dam.
I have not seen the situation in the Bayongan dam in San Miguel and the Capayas dam in Ubay but I am sure they are no different from the Malinao dam.
If the dams specially built to hold water that will nurture he rice fields of our farmers could go dry, how much more with the rain-fed areas? Hunger is creeping and it will not be long before farmers like those in Kidapawan City will come knocking on the doors of government agencies for food. They who produce the food for many of us, will be coming to ask that they be given food. When that time happens let us hope our police will be more tolerant and understanding than their counterpart in Kidapawan City.
It is high time government focuses on educating the people on the effects of climate change. It is high time clear mitigation and adaptationmeasures are understood and acted by our people. There is no time more appropriate to do this than now when everyone is feeling the effects of climate change. The elniño is no longer just a phenomenon. It will now be a regular thing that will come every year and we might as well all learn how to adapt to it.
It is time government, and I mean the politicians we will elect this May, pick up for their campaign program something that we can do as a people to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Sadly not a single candidate is telling us what they can do about climate change.
There are a few who are talking about addressing the concerns of the agriculture sector, the farmers, but that is all there is to it. No body speaks about the environment and how our denuded forestland contribute to climate change and global warming.
I have learned from reading that deforestation and land use change massive amounts of carbon that are stored in tropical forests. When we destroy these areas to clear land for farmsor other uses, that carbon gets released into the atmosphere and accelerates climate change. Studies show that deforestation accounts for 11% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.
There are groups that have been pioneering ways to help communities adapt to challenges like rising sea levels, severe storms and more frequent flooding. They suggestddeveloingp new ways of farming that support a healthy environment, minimize climate impacts and create a better quality of life for farmers. But up to now these have remained to be sales talk, nothing more. Government must now adopt policies and make decisions to put on-the-ground expertise and scientific know-how into practical programs that every level of government can implement.
Climate change is reshaping human civilization. How we respond will determine the future of our planet, our species and our country. Unless we can do something to mitigateand adapt to it, we will yet see the worse of climate change.
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