By Cha Monforte
Lito dela Corta, 54, only wanted to make the murky and polluted Baslayan creek area near his house end as the source of foul odor and breeding ground of big flies and mosquitoes that annoy his family and, yes, threaten the health of their neighborhood.
Then Dela Corta saw his neighbor making a pond in the creek for tilapia production in just so small scale for family consumption.
So, from his neighbor’s raw clearing, he cleaned an area of the creek, about 60 square meters, just by the outer opening of the manhole at the side of the national highway section fronting Gaisano Mall in Iligan City.
The manhole is the drain of four drainage culverts where waste waters from commercial and residential areas flow out.
The Baslayan creek section at Purok de Oro, Zone 3 drains to the coast in Tambacan.
It was November 18, 2016 when he started cleaning and clearing the place. It was really a trash creek where garbage piled up, leachate and flotsam mixed with slowly running murky canal water. Now it has become a koi fishpond, looking like a big aquarium with the few decors he has set up.
More than 100 big koi fishes of various colors are thriving in a pond having continuous clear water running through it.
It’s really a big wonder why the canal water becomes clear and look refreshing.
And for these, Dela Corta’s pond becomes a new city attraction.
He simply put up screens to filter the running canal water, and it becomes clear already, he said in an interview with this reporter Thursday.
He’s earning a little from the feed pellets for the kois at P5 per small pack. Anyone who wants to have all the colorful kois come before him has only to throw feed pellets to the kois- to enjoy and at the same time contribute something to the environment.
Lito is an itinerant agent of all- cars, spare parts, lots, etc.
How he wish civic club in Iligan City would step in to be a cooperator and “mount their tarpaulins here.”
He said donations of flowers, neem trees, more kois and decors are most welcome.
He and his neighbor having tilapia pond were recently given an award by City Mayor Celso Regencia for their innovative project that could be replicated to clean canals nationwide.
Where before the Baslayan creek section near Lito’s house could immediately become the dumping ground of neighbors’ wastes, it becomes almost a big aquarium now where people are ashamed to throw their wastes, including children who no longer pee on the sides of the creek. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)