Sunday, August 5, 2007

Water Crisis in Occidental Mindoro

The over-extension of the dry season, taken into context of the global warming that has caught the attention of even the former second-in-command of the USA, Al Gore, has been the topic of the news these past days. Media covers the scampering of the government in the latter's effort to address the shortage of water especially for residential use.
As I watch the news, I see no similar issue in Occidental Mindoro. Of course, I knew how the farmers are earnestly praying for rain. In a number of areas, the ricefields are literally opening themselves up for the rain. But, if one comes to think of the state of irrigation for the farmlands in Occidental Mindoro, the so-called water crisis is commonplace in Occidental Mindoro.
NIA has been here in the province since 1980's. But, as expected from a government agency, NIA's accomplishment is still minimal -- for too out of the effort the irrigated farmlands is still lesser in area than the non-irrigated fields.
I knew of barangays in Sablayan, for instance, where farmers can only have one cropping season for a year. The reason is they are not reached by the irrigation canal built by the NIA, and hence have to depend very much on rain. For such small farmers, the option of having their own motorized irrigation system -- which is very costly to erect and to sustain -- is nil in possibility.

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