(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 18 April 2024) Easterlies affecting the country. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—˜π—”π—§π—›π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Monday, 19 February 2024

Uncontrolled population growth key factor in worsening weather conditions in Mindanao

By Nora Lanuza Molde

In an interview conducted by PIA - Agusan del Norte information center manager Nora L. Molde, CPD Caraga regional director Alexander Makinano emphasized the pivotal role of managing population to address climate-related disasters. Photo of PIA - Caraga.

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte (PIA) – The Commission on Population and Development (CPD) in Caraga highlighted the devastating impacts of recent extreme weather events in the region due to uncontrolled population growth that increased climate vulnerability.

"Rapid population growth in Caraga and across Mindanao is a key driver of these worsening climate disasters," said Alexander A. Makinano, regional director of CPD Caraga, during his interview with the Philippine Information Agency in Agusan Del Norte. 

"As more people occupy marginal lands and forests are cleared, communities become more exposed to extreme weather," he added.

Caraga Region, located in northeastern Mindanao, has been hit hard by a series of floods, landslides, and storms over the past month triggered by the trough of Low Pressure Area (LPA). As of February 3, over 60,000 families across Caraga were affected, with thousands displaced from their homes.

According to the Office of Civil Defense Caraga, major incidents include 81 flooded areas, four landslides, and damage to 40 road sections plus four bridges across Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Butuan City, and Surigao del Sur. Power outages affected nine cities and municipalities. Over 23 houses were totally damaged, and 14 cities and municipalities were declared under state of calamity.

With Caraga's population growing by over 22 percent from 2000 to2015, increasing from just over two million to 2.6 million residents, Dir. Makinano further explained, "All these extra people need land for farming, housing, more roads, infrastructure, and basic services. But when marginal areas are cultivated and forests logged, they increase the hazard risk, especially during severe weather events."

Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority data from the 2020 population census in Caraga, the province of Agusan del Sur had the highest population share. The towns of this province are greatly affected by the recent flooding in Mindanao due to the shear line and trough of the Low Pressure Area. Photo courtesy of PSA.

Makinano suggested strengthening the family planning program so couples can choose smaller families, stating that “fewer children per household will ease pressure on fragile environments across Caraga and reduce disaster impacts.”

“Environmental groups also concurred that slowing population growth must be part of any strategy to curb climate change and build resilient communities, especially in Caraga, a region considered high-risk forclimate change.  This will benefit both current and future generations," Makinano concluded. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga, with a report from CPD-Caraga)