Allah Valley watershed rehab, top priority to control flooding - DENR XII
by MC Locsin
Koronadal City (21 August) -- An environment and natural resources official here bared today that the rehabilitation of the Allah Valley Watershed Forest Reserve is a top priority in partnership with the provincial governments of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region XII Executive Director Jin O. Sampulna said that the initiative is in line with the implementation of a long- term development plan to control flooding in Region XII and in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
"We have prioritized Allah Valley because it is believed that 60 to 80% of the silt deposited in the Rio Grande de Mindanao comes from the Allah River. We know that the siltation of rivers and other water channels is one of the causes of widespread flooding in the area," Sampulna said.
The Allah Valley Watershed Forest Reserve covers a total area of 102,350 hectares spanning three municipalities in South Cotabato (Lake Sebu, Surallah and T'boli) and one in Sultan Kudarat Province (Bagumbayan). It is covered with Presidential Proclamation No. 2455 dated September 24, 1985. the Allah Valley Landscape Devlopment Alliance, operated by the Provincial Governments of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, manages the watershed.
"We have yet to come up with definitive study on the Allah Valley Watershed, hence we have requested the office of DENR Secretary Jose L. Atienza, Jr. to source funds to finance the conduct of a feasibility study," Sampula further said.
Moreover, Sampulna said that the project is aligned with the vision of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which she enunciated during her recent visit to Cotabato City.
PGMA recently constituted the Task Force on Mindanao River Basin Rehabilitation and Development headed by Cotabato Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, O.M.I., D.D.
The term watershed can be defined as "a land area that catches and srains rain a surface run-off into a specific body of water such as stream, river, lake, reservoir, wetland, sea, or ocean." A watershed may also be called drainage basin, catchment, catchment basin, drainage area, river basin or water basin. There are 25 identified watershed forest reserves in the Region with combined area of 753,700 has. (DENR XII/PIA SarGen) [top]