Farmers alarmed on Malinao Dam level

Farmers alarmed on Malinao Dam level

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Some farmers here expressed fear that they might not be able to plant rice on time as the Malinao dam, their only source of irrigation for most rice farmlands in this town.

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) earlier warned that planting may be delayed in most areas serviced by the irrigation facility.

 El Nino continues to take a toll on farmlands and livestock, planting rice next season would probably be delayed, regional manager Mario H. Sande of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) told Kapihan sa PIA recently.

He said that cropping season that usually takes place in May would be likely moved to July this year but this depends on the advice of the PAG-ASA.

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He said that because of this situation, of the total 7,800 plus hectares, only some 5,983 hectares could be served by a combined four major irrigations systems — Malinao Dam in Pilar, Bohol; Bayongan dam in San Miguel, Bohol, Capayas in Ubay; and Talibon irrigation.

The situation worsened in some areas where spring water is the only source for their small irrigation systems. In San Isidro town, some rice farms had no more water and this is aggravated by the fact that the Tinubran spring, main source of irrigation needs here had already dried up in the aftermath of th earthquake in 2013, information officer Eric Flor said.

It will be recalled that Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) Bohol has included in 34 provinces where the El Niño continues to persist.

“A strong El Niño episode will persist, affecting 25 provinces in a drought condition and nine others in a dry spell condition through the month.”

PAG-ASA said that the provinces of “Abra, Benguet, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Albay, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Sorsogon, Bohol, Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur have been in a dry condition. The provinces of Rizal, Catanduanes, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur are experiencing a dry spell.”

The provinces of Palawan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Samar, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Misamis Occidental, South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, Basilan, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are suffering from drought.

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“Drought is characterized by three months of way below normal rainfall conditions or a 60 percent reduction from the average, while dry spell is associated with consecutive months of below normal rainfall conditions or 21 percent to 60 percent reduction from the average. A dry condition is a two-consecutive month of below normal rainfall conditions or a 21 percent to 60 percent reduction from the average.”

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The prolonged El Niño phenomenon has already adversely affect the agriculture sector, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) region 7 earlier said. (rvo)

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