OCENR addresses environmental hazards in JEMSC PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 07 June 2014 11:10

The Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) has crafted a contingency plan to address and mitigate the identified environmental hazards at the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex (JEMSC), the largest evacuation center for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Based upon the initial site assessment conducted by the office, flooding has been identified as one of the more imminent environmental hazards for the IDPs residing in the Sports Complex. Four clusters in the Sports Complex have been identified as flood-prone areas due to its low-lying topography, and are further exacerbated by non-functional drainage systems, accumulation of debris, and the encroachment of shelters of IDPs into the drainage systems.

Flooding in these areas can range from 0.10 to 0.50 meters, according to the report submitted by the OCENR.

To mitigate the impact of flooding at the Sports Complex, especially in the coming rainy season, the OCENR have proposed several contingency measures, which include involving affected IDPs in the maintenance of waterways through information and education campaigns, move IDPs who have houses that are adjacent, encroaching into, or constructed atop drainage canals, and the rehabilitation of drainage system to accommodate the volume of rainwater.

The OCENR will also serve as a lead agency in the Zamboanga City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan (ZCDRRMP), along with the City Engineer’s Office (CEO), to respond to flooding hazards.

Aside from environmental concerns, the OCENR also assists the City Health Office (CHO) to address health hazards caused by congestion at the Sports Complex grounds. Among the interventions and measures to be undertaken are the implementation of preventive, curative checks and control of disease spread in coordination with the Department of Health and CHO, nutritional screenings, and regular supplementation of supplies and medicines. — Jasmine Mohammadsali