By Leilanie Adriano
LAOAG CITY–For climate change and adaptation, the local government units in Ilocos Norte plan to build more rainwater harvesting facilities.
Edwin Cariño of the Sustainable Development Center (SDC) under the provincial government said there are at least 18 small farm reservoirs used by farmers to address water shortage in various parts of the province, particularly during the dry season.
“This is a big help to our farmers who are struggling with water to sustain their plants. We still need more rain though so we can harvest more,” Cariño said.
To increase farm productivity and provide additional livelihood to farmers, the Ilocos Norte government, under the leadership of Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc has allocated funds for the establishment of more mini dams and water catchment basins.
The SDC is also encouraging farmers to diversify their crops and consider planting early maturing rice to save on water.
“We have at least five measures that are readily implementable to cushion the impact of El Niño: rain harvesting, switching to short-gestation crops that do not require abundant water to grow – such as monggo (mung beans), watermelon, and pechay (Chinese white cabbage), the use of enhanced fertilizers with better water-retention properties, installation of pond liners to serve as reservoirs, and the use of gray water to maximize use and avoid water wastage,” Cariño said.
Launched in 2014, a water summit is held annually in the province to tackle issues on climate change with the prevailing concern of water scarcity affecting mostly upland farmers in the region. (PNA)