BULUAN, Maguindanao: Governor Esmael Mangudadatu has alerted local and disaster officials of possible floods, as water hyacinths are now blocking the flow of water in major waterways crisscrossing the Maguindanao marshland.
Mangudadatu on Saturday convened the Provincial Peace and Order Council and urged its members to take preventive measures to minimize the effects of floods on residents of low-lying communities around the marshland, also known as the Liguasan marshland.
One viable solution is for the provincial government to produce machinery for grinding aquatic plants, he said, noting that this could “hit two birds with one stone.”
The governor explained that having one grinding machine would fast-track efforts to remove hyacinths currently building up under bridges and walkways, while the cut water hyacinths could be composted into fertilizers that can be a source of income for Maguindanaons.
A view from the sky using drone cameras showed a massive build-up of water lilies in the 220,000-hectare Liguasan delta.
The marshland has long been vulnerable to flooding that some people in marshy communities have already become used to it and have built houses that could withstand floods.
However, Mangudadatu said floodwaters take time to subside, affecting the residents’ livelihood and damaging their crops so that they are forced to relocate to higher grounds.
Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao police director and Brig. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, offered to deploy uniformed personnel to monitor water levels upstream to alert residents in the lowlands.
The governor said the frequent floods that hit the province even on non-rainy days have alarmed disaster and local officials.