Marikina Marshland then and now

A big part of Marikina was once a marshland during the old times.

Marikina Marshland 1947-1955

Marikina Marshland 1947-1955

The map above shows the so called Marikina Marshland during the 1940’s to 1950’s.

But due to the industrialization of Marikina which started in the late 1950’s, the waters and tall grasses were replaced by factories, plants, and mills.

Honed by years in shoe manufacturing, the natives had developed a work ethic that prepared them for the arrival of heavy-duty industries in the 1950s. With the proliferation of industrial plants came waves of workers who had chosen to stay, rapidly increasing the population.

The city soon became a victim of its own growth, creating a slew of problems. One of these was the deterioration of the Marikina River, which resulted from the reckless behavior of factories and squatter colonies that lined the banks

Today, what was once a marshland is now the home of many Marikenyos. It is now full of factories, subdivisions, government buildings, and even the seat of government of Marikina is now located here.

Marikina City

Marikina City

The Environmental Science for Social Change recommends re-examining these areas to avoid a huge disaster in the future.

This is where we have built subdivisions without integrated accountability for the natural flows of the area. The hydro-geomorphology needs to be strategically accounted for in the serious re-planning of this area before any new ventures are initiated.

Local government planners and housing developers might well examine the historical reality of the land and water of the Marikina Valley and its river, where the broad floodplain south from the Wawa makes up nearly 40% of the total drainage area. The extent of the flood area and the very gentle slope (greatest 7 to 0%) and breadth, show the natural history of flooding in this area. The flooding is also exasperated by the limited flow of the Pasig River, the shallowness of Laguna de Bay, and the propensity of water to back up. This flooding potential lay dormant, but scientifically is no surprise; it is just a question of when. Landfill and embankments in the individual areas of development are not enough to deal with the expected floodwaters of a 50- or 100-year event. The rains in Real, Infanta, and General Nakar in Quezon in November and December 2004 should have been enough reminders of the impending disaster.


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