There is no fear that hyacinths or water lilies would clog rivers and lakes in Bicol to cause floods and pollution resulting in fish kills, the environmental management bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office in Legaspi said.
Fernando Quililan, the EMB regional technical director said recent ocular inspections conducted on major rivers and lakes in the region bared no threat of hyacinth overcrowding that may result in overflowing of water during heavy downpour or negative effects that may trigger fish kills.
The inspections were conducted to determine the extent of growth of the fast-multiplying water plant. The fish kill incidence in Lake Buhi, Camarines Sur, Quililan said, has been blamed on the influx of water lilies in the area apart from the effects of pollution-causing organic materials such as unconsumed fish feeds and fertilizers, among others.
The Bicol river, a major fresh water body in the region has followed suit according to the regional EMB chief citing the ongoing (Naga) river revitalization program being initiated by the local government of Naga city where the 15-kilometer tributary occupies a prominent space.
This river, he said is source of irrigation for the city’s expansive rice fields of the lowlands and upland barangays where vegetables and other cash crops thrive.
When fully revitalized, Quililan said Naga river would cover a wide-range of concerns such as the improvement of livelihood opportunities for local residents, disaster mitigation and promotion of environmental consciousness and tourism. It will enhance the river’s aesthetic and historical value and create alternative water-based transportation.
“We have inspected 12 major rivers and four lakes in the region and no significant presence of water hyacinths was observed. Based on that observation, we are assured that this water-borne plant will not cause floods nor fish kill in those areas,” he added. (PNA)