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karaokaraospearheads

Aimed at empowering their own communities, the Bantay Watershed Task Force (BWTF) volunteer members inBarangay Karao, Bokod, Benguet which is part of the Upper Agno Watershed Reservationconducted community development activities early this week.

Fifty-one participants from the Karao community were engaged by the BWTF to three activities in a day. Such activitieswere Information, Education Campaign(IEC) through school lecture; community nursery establishment; and school Eco-Receptacle Compost (ERC) facility making. These activities served as one of the highlight of the opening of the barangay?s three- day Uhob Festivalwhere environmental issues are one of the discussion among elders during their ritual gathering.

The BWTF involved the Parents Teachers Association (PTA), Youth Environmentalist in School Organization (YES-O), school pupils and other community members. Upper Agno River Watershed Area Team personnel were tapped as resource speakers and facilitators. The Community Relations Officers and forest guards supervised and extended technical assistance during the nursery establishment and Eco-Receptacle Compost facility-making.

The topics during the IEC were Importance of Watershed and its Protection Measures, Waste Management, and Nursery Management. On the other hand, the erected community nursery shall house a target of 2,000 potted indigenous species to be propagated by the participants.Maintenance of the nursery was turned over to the PTA to be supervised and monitored by the BWTF volunteers.

Meanwhile, the Eco-Receptacle Compost facility was turned over to the YES-O club of Karao Elementary School for their duplication. It shall be harvested in three to six months period, in time during the planting season wherein organic compost fertilizer is needed. Aside from the nursery and school wastes, the YES-O members may include kitchen wastes from their households to generate compost. The produced organic fertilizer from the wastes could be the club?s source of income. They could sell per kilo excess compost supply to farmers, flower shop owners, among others.

During the outdoor demonstration and exercise, the pupil participants, particularly the members of the YES-O club, went enthusiastic that they committed to propagate indigenous seedling species at their own backyards aside from those at they will be producing at the community nursery?, said Maria Liza Panayo, BWTF volunteer.

We pledged to be Bantay Bulilit Task Force. In our own little ways, we want to show our dedication of not only sowing seeds but of growing the seeds into seedlings, then eventually growing the seedlings into trees?, said the YES- O president.

As agreed upon, each pupil is to produce 50 local tree species for the school year, take good care of it until it matures and hardens ready for planting. This shall be monitored by the YES-O club president. At the end of the school year, ?green thumb award? shall be given to the pupil with the most number of grown trees.