Confrontration With Pollution: An Earth Day Reflection
April 16, 2011 by AllynAllynAllyn
The air stinks with a hundred tons of freshly degraded wastes. It’s not really suffocating except it would be a precautionary to not breath, almost instinctively. Aside from the stagnant pond of floating waste it should’ve been a nice view. Mangroves grow healthily, and the seawater close by is miraculously, still blue. Our task is to take .01 percent of the wastes, thats how far a group can accomplish considering the stench of that place.
It is a small village in the slums of Iloilo City. People breathe that rotten smell almost everyday of their lives. The waste filled seashore is the playground of little kids. It’s where they live. It is sad.
But what’s sadder about the situation? Organizations go there to clean the place. The people who live there would only stare at them if not go on with chatting with each other or playing billiards. No apparent effort was done by the people concerning the cleanliness of the place. If there is, no bags, shoes and other undistinguisable garbage would scatter under their tall huts. A lot of people have offered help, I dont like thinking that they have unwittingly tolerated the people. When you see a place like that, you wont believe that hope still leaves there that might be what those individuals are trying to revive.
I have been to a number of Earth Day activities but mostly not a coastal cleanup on that area, that is actually being done regularly by a number of student organizations. That was the first time I encountered the evils of pollution face to face. It is like a monster eating the development of a place and also its people.
Early morning walk from Molo Plaza to Iloilo River starts the Earth Day celebrations for around 150 mostly young people of the city.
The participants expressed concern that government agencies and officials tolerate the wanton violation of existing laws on clean air, biodiversity, coastal resource management and others.
Thus the participants committed to call on all levels of government to take swift actions on clean energy, climate change and disaster risk management; to effectively implement environmental laws on ecological solid waste management; to work for the democratization of ownership of public utilities on water and electricity; and if elected into office, that they should be willing to submit to public performance evaluation after six months to assess compliance to social contracts for pro-environment plans, programs, policies and legislative reforms.It stated that impacts of global warming like more intense and more frequent flooding, landslides, droughts and other extreme weather events are now the gravest threat to the world’s population. “Human activities like the emissions of greenhouse gases from transportation and power plants and the destruction of forests by mining and conversion to other uses contribute significantly to the heating of the Earth’s atmosphere,” it said.
Hundreds of mangrove propagules were planted along the Iloilo River that was spearheaded by the Workers for Health and Environment (We-Heal) and the Iloilo Student Alliance for Nature and Development (I-Stand).
The University of San Agustin (USA) Troubadours had a successful concert in the afternoon to cap the Earth Day celebrations. Part of the proceeds of the concert will be given to Green Forum – Western Visayas to be used for the protection and rehabilitation activities of Iloilo River.
The activities were coordinated by the Responsible Ilonggos for Sustainable Energy (RISE). mangroves in Iloilo River.