Unity can help build resilience in Janiuay, says Mayor 

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March 2019

The Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund (UCCRTF) 

strives to build resilience in Janiuay. 

In 2018, the UCCRTF team was in Janiuay, Philippines to undertake baselining that will assess the level of climate resilience in the city. These efforts to measure resilience aim to help cities better plan and scale up investments to protect against shocks, reducing the impact of climate change on vulnerable communities.  

Situated in the center of the Philippine archipelago, in the Province of Iloilo, Janiuay is home to 63,905 people.According to Mayor Jose Lam De Palla, the city faces several challenges including issues related to solid waste management and water pollution. These stresses are being exacerbated by periods of intense rainfall and flooding.2  

AUTHOR

Will Bugler
Will is a climate risk and resilience communications expert working for climate adaptation advisory firm Acclimatise. He is currently working with the UCCRTF for knowledge sharing and communications.

In this video, the Mayor of Janiuay explains what resilience means for the city. 

Facing climate risks  

The 2016 Climate Risk Index lists the Philippines as the fifth most vulnerable country in the world to the effects of climate change. 

Janiuay itself lies within the “Typhoon Belt” and is susceptible to flooding and storm surge (footnote 2). In fact, the town experienced severe impacts, including massive landslides in the mountains and heavy flooding in the lowlands, from Typhoons Frank in 2008 and Yolanda in 2013.  

In response to climate risks, Janiuay should invest in preparedness by “institutionalizing the city’s incident command system, and strengthen the municipal disaster risk reduction office, so that in times of disaster 

Janiuay can be resilient,” Mayor De Palla said. He added that the city needed more evacuation centers in case of flood, and more flood control infrastructure. Aside from physical infrastructure, the Mayor also said that the city needed more training on how best to respond to flood events. 

SuageRiver-barrier.jpg

The Suage River has burst its banks on several occasions during the cyclone season, damaging farmland and homes of nearby communities (photo by Jevelyn Tobio). 

Rainfall events in the region are expected to become more severe and intense. Projections by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and 

Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) show an increase of 9.5% to 11% in rainfall during March to May and 27% to 28% during December to February by midcentury.

These changes make it all the more urgent to address the city’s solid waste management issues. In 2017, an Asian Development Bank (ADB) Resilience Academy addressed the above identified shocks and stresses as part of the Janiuay Environmental and Ecological Project (JEEP). Specifically, the project focused efforts on relocating people out of the flood zone and implementing a portable water supply. With the number of challenges Janiuay faces from climate change disasters, it is vital that appropriate measures are taken to ensure the municipality has an effective disaster preparedness plan laid out and has the capabilities to reduce risks to the poor and vulnerable. 

Main photo above: The market in central Janiuay in the Philippines, a city facing increased flood risk in the coming years (photo by Jevelyn Tobio).

[1] Philippine Statistics Authority. 2015. Census of Population. "Region VI (Western Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay.

[2]  Building Resilient Urban Communities Municipal Profile, Stakeholder Analysis and Mapping Janiuay, Iloilo, Philippines (2018).

[3] Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. 2018. https://www1.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/index.php/43-climatology-and-agrometeorology/climate-monitoring-and-prediction#seasonal-temperature-change