The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has approved the dredging of sandbars in 19 priority sites along Cagayan River to prevent a repeat of the devastating floods in the region during the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses last month.
The DENR said the sandbars can yield 8.1 million cubic meters of water with a coverage area of 2.7 million square meter or 270 hectares.
DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said dredging of sandbars will immediately improve water flow velocity while medium and long-term solutions including the construction of flood control dams, installation of revetment structures along slopes and reforestation of watershed and easement areas are being laid out.
“We should begin removing these sandbars even while awaiting the selection of private contractors to do the dredging of the river,” Cimatu said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) assured the availability of 35 dredging and excavation equipment for the effort, four of which were deployed in Tuguegarao City. – J. Macapagal