On October 25, 2015 a brief session was conducted in Barangay Poblacion, Sugpon, Ilocos Sur as part of series of community consultations that aim to validate the uses, importance and possible sources of pollution of the Amburayan River. Elders of the community came to share their experiences of the river . They described about 20 types of fish that the Amburayan river once yielded, the trees that use to crowd its riverbanks and the unspoiled water that once flowed swiftly.
The community elders also described how they felt the impact of Western MINOLCO, a major mining corporation. The river changed and the fish dwindled during the 1970’s. Stories of the past peppered the discussions of the community members as they discussed the role of the Amburayan river in their lives and in the development of their hometowns.
These community consultations not only yield valuable information for policy-makers but also serve as a venue for the communities to see the advantages of protecting the river. Together they have the chance to remember the Amburayan river as it was and look forward to a future of better possibilities.
Protecting and Defending the Amburayan River Basin and Watershed through Good Governance and Active Peoples’ Participation is a project funded by the USAID through the Gerry Roxas Foundation (GRF) and is implemented by the Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation Inc. (JVOFI).//Flynn S. Ayugat