DOH starts rehabilitation project in Marcopper affected areas in Marinduque

Department of Health (DOH) – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) started its post disaster program for the rehabilitation of Mine-out Areas in Marinduque through the establishment of Carbon Neutral Garden and Oxygen Park among Marcopper affected municipalities in the Province of Marinduque.

“We have to act now! Because an immediate response to any disaster is vital in maximizing the number of people, property and resources that could be saved,” Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo stated during the opening of the Beema Bamboo Nursery at the Marinduque State College (MSC) in Boac, Marinduque on October 3, 2017.

“We have to address all threats to life, property and the environment and even though the environment utilizes several means to purify itself, it would eventually find ways to purify itself but it also need our assistance to achieve it,” he emphasized.

An on-site planting of Beema bamboo along the Boac River at Sitio Pulong in Barangay Capayang, Mogpog, Marinduque was held and attended by various regional, provincial and local government agencies of MIMAROPA.

Janairo believed that one of the effective ways to reduce the effects of toxins in the air, soil and water around the Marcopper affected areas is to plant the Beema bamboo which will absorb the toxins from air, water and soil.

In partnership with the MSC, DOH-MIMAROPA launched the Beema Bamboo Nursery with an initial 25,000 saplings purchased from India. The nursery was established with a Php3 million budget from the regional office with an additional Php500,000 from the state college for operation and maintenance.

According to Janairo, the Beema saplings have already adapted to our environment and are now healthy and steadily growing. “Because of the speedy growth of bamboo, we can reproduce these to about 100,000 saplings in three to four months.”

The Beema bamboo is a specially bred variety which has a wall thickness of 3 times more than the local bamboo and acts as a “Carbon Sink”. A 1,000 Beema bamboo per acre can absorb 80 tons of carbon dioxide yearly. It can also release up to 12 tons of oxygen in the atmosphere.

We have selected this variety of bamboo due to its lifespan which is 500 years before replanting, it can be grown even in poor soils, it is thorn-less, fast growing, high yielding and it is sustainable,” Janairo explained.

“In addition, this will eventually become a source of livelihood to residents because the bamboo products can be used as materials for furniture, floors, trusses, walls and even bridges,” he added.

This project is a collaborative effort of DOH-MIMAROPA, Marinduque State College, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in partnership with local governments of Mogpog and Boac, the provincial government and Congressional District Office of Marinduque.

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