By Anna Valmero
TACLOBAN CITY, LEYTE—Residents of landslide-prone areas in Eastern Visayas and the rest of the country are urged to plant bamboo to help hold loose earth in place and prevent erosion.
Planting bamboos in potentially loose soil can serve to hold the earth in place with its dense and wide-spreading system of roots. This can limit erosion, particularly the large-scale sheet that can lead to fatalities and damage to properties, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Over 2,531 villages in Eastern Visayas are considered to prone to landslides.
Local government executives are urged to initiate bamboo planting in their areas of jurisdiction, particularly in places tagged as landslide-prone by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).
Bamboo is the only grass variety that is best suited to plant along river banks in order to mitigate landslides, said DENR Eastern Visayas regional technical director Manolito Ragub.
The roots of a bamboo plant can expand by 25 percent to hold six cubic meters of soil.
Bamboo has livelihood uses as raw material for furniture making and its shoots are served as delicacy.
Planting bamboo and indigenous plants in the targeted 12, 365 hectares of land across the region is now integrated in the National Greening Program of the government, Ragub said.