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Davao Norte folk plant thousands of seedlings to protect riverbanks

DAVAO DEL NORTE, Feb. 26 — Over 5,000 of deep-rooted vegetation seedlings have already been planted in eight barangays by residents along the banks of major rivers, as part of the community-based disaster management program of the province.

Barangay officials, farmers, mothers, teachers and school children teamed up in planting vetiver, malobago, bamboo, narra and other trees along the river banks of Libuganon, Saug and Panaga, as part of the activities of the provincial government’s Oplan A.N.D.A.M. program.

Oplan A.N.D.A.M. (Advocacy on Natural Disaster Awareness and Management) led by Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, launched the program last December to reduce the vulnerability and build resilience of communities that are at risk.

Aside from the river bank protection activity, participants of Oplan A.N.D.A.M. were also given breakaway lectures on basic life-saving techniques, water sanitation and hygiene, bio-gas technology and botanical concoction, and earthquake/fire drills.

OIC-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Brigida Cudal said the use of live vegetation is a cheap alternative to costly structural engineering measures for riverbank protection.

Although they require time to establish, she said that grasses, shrubs and trees are self maintaining and re-generating once their roots are secured, providing the communities and farmlands protection against flash floods.

The DOLE Stanfilco-affiliated Kasilak Foundation and Dana Foundation assisted in providing counterpart seedlings, as part of their corporate social responsibility.

Eleven-year old Nandine Agbon said she found fulfillment in joining the planting activity along the bank of the headwaters of Libuganon River, during ANDAM’s 7th stop in Gupitan, Kapalong town earlier this month. (PNA)

CTB/ASA/LDP

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