By Hilda M. Austria
DAGUPAN CITY, Nov. 30 — Pangasinan Fourth District Rep. Gina de Venecia will introduce next December the Vetiver Grass Technology in San Fabian, Mangaldan and Dagupan City.
This is intended to help lessen the seasonal soil erosion problems in her district caused by flash floods.
This is in addition to the protective walls and spur dikes already being constructed to prevent soil erosion in Barangay Binday, San Fabian and Sitio Pontok in Bonuan Binloc, Dagupan City.
The project will be launched in Mangaldan, in two weeks, while the construction of the spur dikes in Binday and Pontok has begun.
According to De Venecia, the VGT has long been found to be a bio-engineering tool for erosion control and slope stabilization.
The VGT was first developed by the World Bank for soil and water conservation in farmlands, De Venecia said.
According to a study by the Queensland Dept. of Natural Resources in Australia, vetiver grass has an extensive and thick root system that binds the soil and makes it very difficult to be dislodged under high velocity flows of water.
The grass can also withstand prolonged submergence in flood water, and more importantly, its vertical root system, with very little lateral root growth ensures that, when inter-cropped, it does not compete with cash crops for nutrients, according to the study.
In October 1999, some 50 hectares of agricultural land and 29 houses along the Bued river in Binday, San Fabian were literally swept away by the rampaging flood waters.
A similar river overflow in Sitio Pontok in Bonuan Binloc in 2010 eroded a hectare of land.
To prevent the recurrence of these destructive calamities, De Venecia has prioritized the construction of the P36 million spur dikes in Binday and the construction of and another P20 million spur dikes in Sitio Pontok.
Both projects are set for completion in December.(PNA)