KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato, Mar. 22 — As the dry spell affects more farmers here, the City Agriculture Office is asking for assistance from concerned agencies particularly the Department of Agriculture. Senior Agriculturist Nesmari Espejo said over P7 million worth of crops including rice, corn, banana and coffee have been rendered unproductive by the ongoing drought.
Affected areas are the villages of Onica, Katipunan, Nuangan, Macebolig, Amazion, Mateo, Sibawan, Linangkob, Kalasuyan, Magsaysay, Sumbac, Malinan, Paco, Singao, Indangan, Gayola, Kalisan and San Isidro. The official added that they are seeking assistance now that the dry spell has also threatened water sources in the city.
The Metro Kidapawan Water District (MKWD) confirmed water shortage is unavoidable if the current dry spell continues as the city has not experienced major rainfall the past weeks and most of the spring sources of water in the area have been reduced by about 25 percent.
The City Eco-tourism Council has temporarily stopped the climb bookings for the entire summer climb to prevent forest fire due to worsening drought in the area. City tourism officer Joey Recimilla said they have been receiving reports of decreasing water level in the rivers of Matingao and Marbel on the way up to the Mt. Apo. The Matingao and Marbel Rivers are two of the longest rivers that can be found along the Kidapawan trail.
The prevailing situation contradicts the earlier pronouncement of the Department of Agriculture vouching that it is ready to face head-on the El Nino phenomenon even as the mild effects of which is now sweeping many areas of the country.