Editorial: Storm are warnings

We can never prepare enough for the wrath of nature. Typhoon Mangkhut wrought devastation caused by landslides and floodings in northern Luzon and until now, many are still looking for missing love ones who could have been swept away at the height of the storm.

Images a day after show the coastline literally covered with trash, debris and flotsam which adds to the heartbreak of news slowly coming out from the disaster zones. We expect to see more of this sight in the coming days as rivers finally spew the remnants of the storm out into the sea. With disaster workers working on retrieval and relief operations, our coasts are left teeming with trash.
We all know the impact of trash floating in our seas. We are too aware of the number of beached whales and turtles that lost their lives after having swallowed plastic, twine or other debris floating that they mistake for food. Trash has destroyed habitats of fish and other aquatic animals and rendered some of our beaches unsafe for bathing. The coastal communities are bearing the impact of these problems.
September is the month dedicated to keeping coastal environment protected and healthy. During last year’s coastal clean-up day, two tons of trash were picked in the coastal communities of the Davao Gulf. Commodore Joselito dela Cruz from the Philippine Coast Guard-XI said the trash collected were mostly debris like driftwood and other items coughed up by the sea like plastic bags, plastic bottles, and other household waste in urban areas, particularly along the coast of Matina Aplaya, Boulevard, Isla Verde, Agdao and Sasa.
In one of the coastal clean-ups we were able to join last year along Sea Wall in Bucana, we found all kinds of trash – from shoes, broken chairs, kitchen utensils, medicine bottles, disposable diapers and all things imaginable – half buried in the sand. This shows how careless people are in disposing their household waste.
Coastal communities are challenged to come up with a holistic approach to keep trash to the minimum. We have to keep our source of life, our bodies of water, clean and renewable.

Posted in Opinion