Nagkakapa: With water shortage, Dumagats’ survival options are drying up
When the water level at the Angat reservoir fell below the critical level in June, Dumagats living around the reservoir were the first to call the public’s attention. For them, the dire condition put their lives in a precarious situation.
As far back as April, many residents already relocated downstream as water levels at the reservoir further dropped on June 27 to 51.8 meters below the normal high level of 210 meters above sea level (masl). Relocating brought them closer to their pond for catch, particularly for those residing in the remote areas of the watershed.
As locals rely on fishing, the declining water level has taken a toll on their livelihood. Their catch dropped to as low as 30% from previous numbers, according to the fishermen. Fewer fish have been caught as early as around February, according to most residents.