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Scary bush fires

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(BY: REV. BERLIE G. YAP) Are there how many bush fires we have, since the long summer started this month? A couple of days ago, both the residents and the BFP helped each other to put down a rapid bush fire in Antipolo Drive, Tumaga-Putik Road. Up in that hilly residential area is an opposite vacant lot where grasses have since turned brown and dry for weeks already on the entry of March.

The suspicion of many, an unknown person did probably throw a cigarette butt after a smoke. One cannot now take chances because of the extreme heat of our weather which is going even to 34 degrees on clear sunny day. And for the record, this will go yet until the end of May. The El Nino phenomenon is just beginning to create its havoc.

Hence, certain measures must be observed, not just by our authorities but including every single private citizen of our beloved City. Gone must be the time for carelessness. We already have the issue of water scarcity and the outages of power, and now the threats of unwarranted bush fires anytime.

Zamboanga has plenty of open spaces. These are private properties which are kept by owners for future use or are for sale. Often, because they only lay dormant, grasses, thus, grow overtime. Unless, they are cut, on summer seasons, like now, they become potential dangers especially to nearby houses.

According to scientists, bush fires are good for the earth’s rejuvenation. Well, it depends. In the case here of our City, we do not see yet any positive advantage should another bush fire alarm our weary neighborhoods and the scraped-dry tanks of our fire trucks. For the record, this factual statement is the scenario of Zamboanga City today.

In a press conference, the BFP chief in the City categorically opened up that the scarcity of water in Zamboanga is now causing a real problem when fire happens anytime. But he mentioned one something ingenious which raised the brows of the public, including Baranggay eMedia. He said that at any event of conflagration, they can use sea water to kill the fire.

It is something quite logically bizarre, but it can be true, our City has ample of sea water everywhere. The chief explained that the new fire trucks of the department have the ability to take sea water in their bellies without any destruction to happen as a matter of corrosion, well. It really sounds relieving!

Relative to the Middle Eastern countries, which use sea water in endless of ways, such idea of the good chief, can be a real advantage for La Bella. Accordingly, in the Arab countries, potable water, in most times, is more expensive than gasoline! It sounds insane to any non-Arab national, like here in Zamboanga, whose gasoline is as high as P50/liter.

But this fact is the real proven day-to-day lifestyle in the arid deserts. What rich Arab nations do is they went to the ocean as their unlikely source. They were able to muster their second most valuable natural resource which is the sea water. Through the process of desalinization, the Arab world has turned their hot cities to be better livable metropolises in the Middle East.

One good example is the beautiful City of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. They’ve almost no natural resources of wells, rivers, and lakes, like our country for their tap water. Their ingenuity somehow turned their weakness as their uniqueness. Have you seen their recent exploits on TV?

So long as their liquid/black gold continues to flow and their tourism keeps to sky rocket, believably, more unexpected breakthroughs may surprise the world for Dubai’s harnessing of their God-given natural blessings which are readily available around. Amazing, isn’t it? It salivates us Filipinos who do have those resources everywhere.

If they could do it in the Middle East, we also can do it here in Zamboanga, sea water as a source to stop future fires and conflagrations around. But the best advice to our locals shall be: CAUTION is the most effective antidote for any unwished tragedies. Let’s preserve ourselves in one piece all through the years.

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17, NIV)

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