Sat. May 25th, 2019

Community effort to clean shores of Lake Lanao begins

LANAO DEL SUR — Volunteers collected on Saturday tons of wastes from the shores of the majestic Lake Lanao, inspired by the environmental-protection efforts of Malacañang.

A Meranao environmentalist, Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman, former vice governor of the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, told reporters Sunday the activity was initiated jointly by the Lanao del Sur provincial police, provincial and municipal executives and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The clean-up drive on Saturday along the shores of Lake Lanao was organized by Senior Superintendent Madzgani Mukaram, director of the Lanao del Sur police, the municipal police chiefs, mayors in the province and the office of Gov. Soraya Alonto-Adiong.

Lucman has a group that planted more than 100,000 bamboo and forest tree seedlings in flood-prone areas and in hinterlands overlooking the majestic Lake Lanao, the largest in Asia, while he was still ARMM vice governor.

Lucman and ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman vacated their posts last week to pave the way for the assumption of appointed officials of the infant Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, whose creation via a peace process between Malacañang and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front they both supported extensively.

The downstream gush of waters from the lake to the seashores of Lanao del Norte province propels hydroelectric plants supplying about three-fourth of Mindanao’s daily power needs.

Mukaram, who is a Tausug, said Saturday’s clean-up activity shall be done on periodic basis.

“We ought to thank the mayors, their chiefs of police, the local communities and the provincial government of Lanao del Sur for helping us clean the shores of Lake Lanao. More of such activities will be initiated soon,” Mukaram said.

He said their clean-up drive, supported by Islamic theologians in Lanao del Sur, was inspired by the environment-protection efforts of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Lucman said he is certain the newly-created BARMM environment and natural resources ministry, led by Abdulrauf Macacua, will focus on programs meant to protect the Lake Lanao, whose water comes from rivers that spring from mountain ranges around it.

Hataman banned through an executive order in 2012 all logging operations in tropical rainforests around Lake Lanao.

John Unson

John Unson, The Philippine Star's writer and the president of the Kampilan Defense Press Corps (KDPC) based in Sixth Infantry Division (6th ID) at Camp Siongco, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.