El Niño is a meteorological phenomenon characterised by an extended dry season and warmer temperatures.
According to Cebu’s provincial government, damage to agriculture and fisheries has already amounted to an estimated 100 million pesos.
Speaking yesterday (Monday, March 25), Provincial Board Member Thadeo Ouano said: “Further damage to the agricultural crops, livestock, fishery and water supply will be prevented if appropriate interventions and assistance are immediately provided to these vulnerable sectors.”
The declaration of a state of calamity will allow the provincial government to make use 59 million pesos in emergency funds.
Today, a provincial agriculture officer in Occidental Mindoro confirmed that the region had also been placed under a state of calamity.
Nonoy Baranda said the declaration was made last week to provide assistance to farmers affected by the dry spell. The provincial governement estimates that damage to crops amounts to nearly 150 million pesos.
El Niño to delay rainy season
The state weather bureau PAGASA last week warned that the effects of El Niño would become more drastic during this year’s summer season. It is expected to affect the country until June and delay the onset of the rainy season.
The dry weather has also caused to water shortages, particularly in urban areas. Earlier this month, we reported on crippling supply issues affecting Metro Manila. Now, water rationing has been implemented in several areas in Metro Cebu, including Cebu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City and Lapu-Lapu City.
On its Facebook page, the Metropolitan Cebu Water District that it now has a production deficit “of close to 20,000 cubic meters per day” as its two water sources – the Buhisan and Jaclupan dams – “are starting to dry up.”
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