CamSur launches Manapot River rehab project

By Jan Marie Ramos PILI, Camarines Sur. The Provincial Government of Camarines Sur, through the Environment, Disaster Management, and Emergency Response Office (EDMERO) launched the Manapot River Rehabilitation, Conservation, and Development Project on 14 March 2018 in the municipality of Caramoan, Camarines Sur. The launching was participated by over 600 youth members from the Caramoan Community College (CCC), El Verde Youth for Climate Action, and Caramoan Coral Reefs Project (CCRP) Organization. This is part of the build-up activities for the upcoming World Water Day on 22 March 2018 and Earth Day on 22 April 2018. “It is important to implement environmental projects in Caramoan, since it is one of the top destinations for water sports enthusiasts all over the world. The youth is instrumental in implementing these projects; they are enthusiastic in conducting activities, they live in an era where environmental issues have loomed large, and they can introduce fresh ideas to help resolve these issues,” said Emman Cleodoro, Environmental Advocacy Officer from EDMERO. Simultaneous activities were held in seven barangays covered by the Manapot River in Caramoan, namely, Barangay Hanopol, Salvacion, Caputatan, Ili-Centro, Tawog, Terogo, and Ilawod. A total of 300 trees were planted along the river banks in Barangay Hanopol, 250 in Salvacion, 250 in Caputatan, 200 in Ili-Centro, 250 in Tawas, 250 in Terogo, and 300 in Ilawod. The youth also held clean-up activities, installed informative IEC materials, and applied 540 liters of a solution used to clean waters called Effective Microorganism Activated Solution (EMAS) in public canals. The youth were also oriented on the current situation of the Manapot River, benefits of river restoration, and freshwater ecosystem. Following the orientation, the participants pledged their commitment and presented their plans for the project maintenance. “This project made me realize that if everyone will care the same way we did today, we can turn back the river to the way it was or even better,” said Noverten Angeles, Supreme Student Government President of the CCC. “We plan to coordinate with Barangay Local Government Units to ensure that the project will be implemented at grassroots level,” he added. The provincial government will integrate environmental education in the school curriculum of the CCC, a province-owned school with free tuition, to inspire its students to intensify environmental programs. The project consists of six strategies for its continuous implementation, namely, river bank stabilization, regular river clean-ups, EMAS application, installation of IEC materials, organization of Bantay Ilog groups, and profiling of families residing along the rivers to assess their sanitation practices. The Manapot River, which extends to 14 kilometers, is a source of water for agriculture, industry, and household purposes. It is also a major destination for recreation of nearby communities and local tourists. The project is also part of the Save Caramoan Peninsula Project which aims to encourage the public to actively participate in ensuring a safe and healthy environment in Caramoan.