August 19, 2007


Catch the rain while it pours

Be careful with what you pray for, the heavens might just give it.

Before rains fell, people resorted to various remedies from man-made to divine intervention. We have seen the Department of Agriculture turning to artificial rains just to soak parched farmlands and fill up drying dams in Northern and Central Luzon.

To the faithful, the absence of rains reminded them of their shortcomings in their relationship with the Lord and of their untold sins. The Catholic leadership, in fact, instructed all churches within its diocese to implore the heavens for rains by praying the Oratio Imperata Ad Petendam Pluviam

And the heavens did because now the rains have finally showered with no end in sight. In areas where rains are heavy, some quarters have actually suggested to prelates to stop praying. The Lord must be saying: “You children should make up your minds.”

But the threat of dry spell continues to loom as a result of global warming. The rains that we have started reaping may not be enough to carry us throughout the dry period once it sets in. The dry season officially begins around October leaving us barely two months to enjoy either beneficial rains or brave heavy rains.

And while it rains, we could actually catch the water and turn them as fresh water.

The technology of rainwater-catching has been introduced since 1989 through the International Rainwater Catchment Systems Association, an organization that believes that rainwater could be a major source of freshwater.

Through its President Jessica Salas, whose advocacy has taken her to various parts of the world, harvesting rainwater could be the answer to water shortage, frequent flooding and to helping the dry spell-battered agriculture sector.

Salas’ work in rainwater-catching started in Capiz in 1989 at a time when water was short and households turned to collecting rainwater. They could not trap as much water then because they lacked containers and other catchment facilities.

Deriving funds from the International Development Research Center in Canada, Salas embarked on organizing communities to build cisterns made of ferrocement tanks to harvest rainwaters each time the wet season sets in. The technology had been adapted the cisterns used to this day.

In Baguio City, on the other hand, where water shortage had been a perennial problem since water sources could no longer service the droves of people who have flocked to the mountain city, water tanks are a common sight in every household.

The tanks, which are prominently displayed in front yards and practically in every corner of one’s home, could be unsightly to one who is not used to seeing them but they are dependable sources of alternative water when tap water is unavailable.

Now that rains are pouring, we could catch them in whatever form that would suit us and save them for non-rainy days.

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Copyright 2007 Ilocos Times. All rights reserved.

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