Friday, April 6, 2012

E. coli bacteria Found in Davao City

Environmental impact study conducted last year by the regional offices
of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Bureau of
Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) revealed that the waters of
Matina Aplaya, this city may be good for bangus-raising but it is
threatened by land-based pollution.

Leonardo Avila III, officer-in-charge of the City Agriculture Office
(CAO) said the tributaries from Talomo and Matina Pangi contribute
much to the pollution in the area.

He said experts are alarmed of the high E. coli bacteria content of
the water that might be ingested by fishes which might eventually be
consumed by the residents.

Avila said the result of the study prompted Mayor Sara Duterte to
dismantle all fish cages in the area while the pollution is being

He said there is a need for a concerted effort from the barangay
governments in the area up to the city line agencies like the City
Health Office (CHO) and City Environment and Natural Resources Office
(CENRO) to survey the number of households which do not have toilets
and septic tanks and piggeries along the riverbanks.

"They must be stopped because they are violating environmental laws,"
Avila said.

He said his office is conducting an inventory on the number of fish
cages which still have fishes to be harvested.

Avila said operators of fish cages will still be allowed to harvest
before the land-based pollution is addressed.

"We might recommend for the relocation of fish cages where they cannot
be affected by the pollution. For now, they are given three to four
months to harvest before they can be dismantled," he said.

The City Agriculture Office accounted for 36 fish cages in Matina
Aplaya since 2011, with 11 cages due to be dismantled this year, after
being found to be operating illegally because of the absence of

Earlier, Duterte-Carpio ordered the CAO to underscore the result of
the environmental impact study of the DOST and BFAR in imposing her
order to dismantle the cages.

"Permits must no longer be issued because two studies of BFAR and DOST
pointed out high concentration of coliform and all sorts of bacteria
and dirt that you can think about, are in the area," the mayor said.

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