Dredging sandbars in the Cagayan River

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Philippines has begun the removal of sandbars to clear the constricted section of Cagayan River, known as the Magapit Narrows, and the massive planting of bamboo along its bank.


According to DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, this dredging project is the culmination of weeks of meticulous planning and detailed coordination. “The sandbar clearing and growing of bamboos ‘are inseperable twins’ that TFBBB has adopted as a strategy to protect nearby agricultural lands and crops from damage during typhoons,” Cimatu stressed.

He also added that on top of the six amphibious dredgers of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), a total of 40 dredging equipment are expected to be deployed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), including dump trucks, bulldozers, tractors, and scoop loaders.

The first phase of dredging operations at this section of Cagayan River entails the removal of three priority sandbars along the Magapit Narrows covering a total of 235 hectares with a volume of seven million cubic meters.

A total of 19 sandbars have been identified by the DPWH but immediate dredging was recommended for the three sandbars, which significantly hinder the flow of flood water to the Aparri Delta draining to the Babuyan Channel.