Philippines: Cayanga River Needs Dredging, Says Expert

Cayanga River Needs Dredging, Says Expert

A government expert said siltation at the mouth of the Cayanga River in San Fabian town has reached an alarming level causing the formation of two islets and impeding river flow.

Jose Lignes Jr., senior geologist at the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in the Ilocos Region, said the river needs immediate dredging as several towns may experience flooding once the rainy season starts.

Lignes made the advice during a public forum last Friday, citing a 2005 study on the town’s flood vulnerability.

He said siltation has resulted in a tear drop-shaped deposit near the mouth of the river while another is beginning to form at the river upstream in the southern section.

He advised the conduct of simultaneous dredging where deposits occurred and at the mouth of the river before the river empties into the Lingayen Gulf.

The siltation has also formed a pathway where residents cross in going to nearby Barangay Bonuan Binloc this city.

Residents of Barangay Narvarte, a thickly populated area located east of the accretion, has blamed the river’s siltation as the cause of frequent flooding during high tide.

Lignes said dredging should be done immediately to prevent further erosion of the river bank.

He said a private firm has offered to dredge the river without expense to the government.

Recto Orjeda, Narvarte village chief, said that while he favors river dredging, other residents are not keen on allowing it because they depend on the river for gold panning.

Town Councilor Andres Abalos, meanwhile, dispel suspicions that the proposed dredging was actually intended to mine black sand.

Lignes supported Abalos citing that a moratorium covers a prohibition on the conduct of black sand mining.

Geohazard maps that the MGB distributed have identified San Fabian villages as highly susceptible to flooding, which could reach up to 1.5 meters.

[mappress]

Press Release, March 27, 2013

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