Editorial: Empowering the people thru information

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Monday, January 13, 2014

WITH the rain pouring continuously although not in torrents, Dabawenyos were already getting antsy by early evening.

As is wont among the locals, very few ventured out, majority stayed home. There were no Saturday night parties to speak of, restaurants and bars were again quiet. Typical, really. Just an entry in the cost of operations for Davao businesses.

This time, however, there was reason to at least know how our rivers are acting up and where the rain continues to fall with the constant Facebook updates on the levels of the different rivers in the city, whose flooding can put residents' lives at risk.


Granted, not all residents are connected to the Internet, especially the poor ones. But the information constantly updated in this Facebook account is of major use for the media, especially those in radio, to warn residents and give them guidance.

Saturday night, we were able to get an idea of how Davao River was rising and how residents of Jade Valley, that subdivision built right on an oxbow lake, or where the river bend used to be, were advised to evacuate and a rescue truck has been dispatched.

We were also warned of how Talomo River is rising and residents were advised to keep watch.

Then yesterday, we knew that the river levels have started to recede and that the 16 families evacuated from Barangay 19A already returned to their homes.

The City Government of Davao Facebook account, however, warned: "Light rain showers continue to prevail in Barangays Marilog, Baguio, Sirib and Tamayong. The rest of Davao City still cloudy."

We know that all our rivers emanate from the upland barangays where there is still rain, as reported by the City Government, and that while the river levels are now receding, there is still the risk and people along the riverbanks and flood-prone areas should remain on the lookout.

Information like these do help, and thus, we only have praises for all those who stay up to put out updates. Keep up the good work and may your vigilance ensure that Dabawenyos are safe.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 13, 2014.


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