Children, some as young as 5 years old, and grandchildren of the members of the San Cristobal Farmers Association (SCFA) recently carried out a clean-up of the Sungwan Spring, an important community water source located in the foothills of Mt. San Cristobal, San Pablo City.
“It’s disheartening to know that people throw trash in here. We collected a lot of plastic garbage,” said Jamil, 14, one of the group of children aged 5 to 16 years who joined the cleanup.
Non-biodegradable wastes such as plastics, sachets of shampoo, soap, detergent, junk food packs, and tin cans mar the crystal clear waters of Sungwan. The Sungwan Spring is a source of potable and household water, and is a site for recreational activities such as fishing and swimming. It also provides water for livestock and agricultural crops for the community of San Cristobal. The spring is the source of a stream that flows downstream to the famous Bato Springs and to other streams connecting barangays in Quezon province.
“We’ve been doing these clean-up drives for years but improper waste disposal of residents around the area continues to be a problem,” lamented Albeniz Calapine, president of the San Cristobal Farmers Association.
The farmers’ group told environmental organization Haribon Foundation that the current state of the Sungwan Spring should be a wake-up call to local officials. As a response, Haribon aims to conduct an information drive to surrounding communities, together with the SCFA and the barangay officials of San Cristobal.
“Prompt action for the responsible use of the Sungwan springs cannot be overemphasized,” said the Haribon Foundation. “It serves as an important source of drinking water and agricultural irrigation for which communities depend upon on a daily basis.”
15-year-old Abegail has made this summer activity a yearly habit, together with her parents and friends every Earth Day. “I wish to see more participants joining the drive and less people polluting the spring,” she said.
The Sungwan Spring clean-up drive is a yearly activity of the San Cristobal Farmers Association.
Through Haribon’s ROAD to 2020 movement, the San Cristobal Farmers Association takes part in the rehabilitation of more than 42 hectares of depleted forest lands in San Pablo City, Laguna.
Haribon’s ROAD to 2020 project is an environmental conservation movement committed to bring back Philippine rainforests by engaging partners at all levels including local governments, non-government organizations, people’s organizations, private organizations, schools and individuals.
NOVA PENAVERDE REGALARIO/HARIBON FOUNDATION