The city government spearheaded a major clean-up of its tributaries flowing directly to Balili River in La Trinidad, Benguet.
Through the combined efforts of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, communication groups Solar Comm, Comm. Ways, Baguio Fire Department, BB-Picag, PAF reservists, Spectrum, city universities, officials of the affected barangays, and volunteers, the whole stretch of Sto. Niño River up to the Bell Church has been freed of debris and other pollutants.
The clean-up is part of rehabilitation efforts to restore Baguio rivers to its clean and pristine state and a way to show the importance of their help in efforts to save the city’s tributaries from further decay.
The clean-up started in Sto. Niño to Trancoville and ended in the Bell Church area. Other rivers which will also be cleaned are Brookside, Dizon-Manzanillo, South Drive, Cresencia Village, and Leonila Hill-Trancoville.
Volunteers who participated in the clean-up drive said most of the wastes are from the kitchen, sewerage, and piggeries which directly flow to the river.
Indiscriminate throwing of garbage in waterways and bringing out of waste outside the collection schedule also contribute to the pollutants especially during rainy days as these wastes are carried by run-off water to canals.
Councilor Peter Fianza also spearheaded the removal of weeds and other wild plants directly obstructing the flow of water, aside from serving as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the census of sewer lines directly connected to the Baguio side of Balili River is complete.
He said households that let their wastes flow directly to the river should start connecting to the city’s sewer line which is treated at the city’s sewerage treatment plant as the contamination of the water system by such illegal act should be stopped.
“If they cannot connect to the city’s sewer lines, then they have to provide their own septic tanks,” he said.
The mayor also ordered the city police and barangay officials to help arrest and file appropriate cases against those who indiscriminately throw their garbage to the city’s rivers and tributaries.
He also thanked the Benguet Electric Cooperative and other agencies and volunteer groups who are helping the city monitor residential houses who still maintain pig pens near water tributaries.
Domogan said the city’s drive to achieve a clean and green environment needs the cooperation of everyone.