There is an ongoing battle in Butuan. Concerned citizens from all sectors are staging a fight against illegal loggers and miners to save the Taguibo River Watershed Forest Reserve (TRWFR), Butuan's primary source of potable water and farmland irrigation.
The Taguibo watershed is one of the critical watersheds in Caraga that was declared as a Forest Reserve by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 1076 issued by then President Fidel V. Ramos on September 4, 1997. It covers a total area of 4,364 hectares for protection and conservation under the public domain of the City of Butuan and Municipalities of RTR and Cabadbaran in the province of Agusan del Norte.
It was discovered as early as 2005 that illegal activities such as logging, mining, and road construction, have been going on at the watershed. It has been four years since the issue was first raised by BCWD to the Regional Development Council (RDC). The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB) has issued a Cease and Desist Order dated August 9, 2005, but the issue has resurfaced. Unlawful activities have resumed at the protected area, causing the rise in water turbidity level and forcing the Butuan City Water District (BCWD) to shut off water supply in Butuan during rainy days.
Butuanons are alarmed that if these illegal activities will not be stopped, further destruction will be done to the watershed and the whole city might end up with no water in the near future.
The advocacy to save the Taguibo Watershed is being spearheaded by BCWD, managed by Engr. Anselmo Sangtian, and the Fr. Saturnino Urios University (FSUU) community, headed by Rev. Fr. John Christian Young.
If you want to know more about how you can be part of this worthy cause, you may visit the following links:
(photos courtesy of bcwdtaguibowatershed.multiply.com)