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Watery future seen for Butuan, Agusan towns

Caraganons fleeing to safer grounds have become a perennial sight at flooded communities, particularly those along the Agusan River. Contributed photo

The future will be a watery one for Butuan and neighboring river towns in Agusan del Sur unless authorities will complete unfinished flood protection projects.

Experts said it is high time to fast track the implementation of long-stalled flood control projects such as the Middle Stream Agusan Development Project and Upper Stream Development Project (USDP) of the Agusan River Basin Flood Control Project (ARBFCP) to avert more catastrophic flooding while avoiding more casualty and damage.

“These two unfinished flood control components must be implemented. Now, is the time,” said a retired director and flood expert of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

He said, aside of flood mitigating measures, when completed these flood control components can also be utilized in irrigation projects that would fully harness the economic potential of Agusan and Butuan City and its neighboring provinces as agriculture and industries yields won’t be at risk of devastation during rainy season.

The Agusan River is the third largest river basin in the country that flows through several provinces in Mindanao before emptying into Butuan Bay in Butuan City.

Floodwaters from Davao region areas and Compostela Valley flow through to the catchbasin of Agusan del Sur province which is the Agusan Marsh before continuing on to Butuan.

During the rainy season, the waters in the Agusan Marsh rise, but acting like a giant sponge it soaks up excess water from mountains, creating a huge area for wetland wildlife, protecting surrounding communities, downstream municipalities from catastrophic floods. By YUC

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