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Archive for the ‘Social Issues’ Category

After years of throwing garbage indiscriminately, residents of  the Philippines in Metro Manila and other provinces that were affected by the deluge last week, experienced nature’s backlash when it vomitted back to land the thrash dumped into its waterways.

Unless we change our “nimby” (not in my back yard) attitude in disposing our solid wastes, floods caused by garbage clogging up our rivers and  canals will be a perennial problem everywhere. Garbage thrown into waterways from one area will be washed up into other shores and vice versa. What comes around, goes around.

Why have we not changed our ways after experiencing so many floods and witnessing the mounds of debris and trash washed up on shores,  stocked on the streets and sometimes left hanging on trees and woodpoles?  Are we not supposed to learn from our experiences? Or don’t we realize that nature like our human bodies expel what it can no longer process?

Nature has its ability to recycle and decompose solid wastes, but if it exceeds its carrying capacity then the outnumbered decomposers who I imagine are stuffed up to their gills and overworked with munching through mounds of garbage can not keep up with the increasing supply however tempting to their taste it may be. So, tons of garbage are left floating around to be washed up on shores during inappropriate times.

Add up the plastic materials that are not easily degradable and are just thrown away without thinking of  its impact when it clog up culverts and canals preventing rainwater to flow where it is supposed to flow, a catch basin of garbage is collected. What a sight  it is to see, how smelly, how icky! Still, it has to be cleaned up and disposed properly by street cleaners and concerned volunteers, until the next heavy rain comes and another cycle begins, not unless we already understood the dynamics of nature during a respite and dispose our garbage in the right way, because it is true that what comes around, goes around.

What man throws to nature, nature throws back to man. Man, you ought to clean up your act!    

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Rain, rain go away

Come again another day …

This is the kindergarten song that I hummed yesterday as I anxiously prayed while watching the TV coverage of the flood inundating several coastal towns and cities in Metro Manila and nearby provinces in the Philippines.

… Little children want to play

Although, there were children and adults in some flooded areas who were playing, swimming and diving as if the murky waters were  swimming pools, I could not help worrying about the threat of Leptospirosis ( a bacterial disease caused by floodwaters contaminated with urine of animals infected with the Leptospira bacteria that can damage the kidney, inflame the membrane around the brain and spinal cord (meningitis), failure of  the liver,  distress of the respiratory system that might lead to death if untreated)  to these innocent fun seekers even in the midst of a terrible disaster.

The heavy rain triggered by the summer monsoon became a deluge due to the effect of Tropical storm Haikui which made a landfall in China on Wednesday morning.  What if  the storm was in the Philippines?  The damage would have been horrendous  and terrifying to imagine!  With this grace, I thank God for sparing the Philippines from a more terrible destruction to property, agricultural products and loss of lives.

Once again, questions on what caused this unprecedented deluge come to mind as you see tons of garbage floating in rivers and estuaries, landslides in mountains sprouting houses instead of trees, housing development in flood prone areas, etc. When will we ever learn to live harmoniously with nature?

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