MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority ) announced yesterday that the newest water pumping station will be opening next year para mabawasan ang baha sa Sampaloc district in Manila City.
According to MMDA Chairman B. Fernando, the newly completed Abucay pumping station in tondo will be operational by May 2009.
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The Abucay facility is located along Abucay Street in Tondo, adjacent to the Estero de Maypajo.
“With our Abucay pumping station, we expect to lessen the flooding along Espana, Dimasalang and the whole Sampaloc area,” he said.
The newly-built floodwater pumping facility is the MMDA’s continuing response to the perennially flooded Sampaloc area, a 7.90-square-kilometer residential and educational center of Manila.
MMDA Flood Control Management Office (FCMO) chief Baltazar Melgar said aside from Espana Boulevard, the pumping station will also service Dapitan, Laong-Laan, and Dimasalang streets, the main thoroughfares in Sampaloc area, including Morayta and Recto streets in the University Belt.
The Abucay station will act as receptacle of floodwaters that pass through the 2.9-kilometer Blumentritt Interceptor, a series of culverts that collect floodwaters coming from Quezon City.
It will also control the overflowing of Estero de Maypajo during heavy rains, Melgar said.
Melgar added the interceptor has not been working properly since it could no longer accommodate the volume of floodwaters, particularly during rainy season.
First conceptualized in October 2007, the Abucay pumping station was built at the cost of P80 million, which include the purchase of a 630-hectare private lot where the facility now stood.
The pumping station has three axial-type pumps, each of which has a capacity of 2.0 cubic meters per second, much faster than the old pumping stations being operated by the MMDA.
Earlier, MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando cited figures from the MMDA Flood Control and Sewerage Office showing that the agency has made great strides in flood-control efforts since 2002 when flood control programs and sewage management were turned over from Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Previously, there had been massive areas in Metro Manila that used to be under water during heavy downpour, with 7,262 hectares of land flooded in 2003.
It was, however, cut down to just 6,700 hectares in the following year.
Before the implementation of flood control programs, a total of 13,100 hectares equivalent to five cities had been flood-prone.
Fernando said many streets and roads in Metro Manila which have been usually impassable during heavy rains are now accessible to most vehicles with the implementation of the programs.
From 2002 to 2005, with a 40 mm/hr of rainfall volume, about two to three kilometers of roads were not passable but in the succeeding years, these areas have been passable to motor vehicles.
For the same period, around 20 kilometers of road had been rendered inaccessible with 60 mm/hr of rainfall intensity, compared to a kilometer of impassable stretch of road in 2005 and 2006 with the same volume of rainfall.
With a 100 mm/hr of rainfall in 2003 and 2004, some 30 to 40 kilometers had been impassable, which have been reduced to only six to eight kilometers of inaccessible roads in 2005 and 2007.
Aside from these physical improvements, Fernando said, the agency has also been conducting a year-round clean-up of waterways, canals and gutters as part of their anti-flood control efforts.
An information campaign has also been mounted with the help of local government units and non-government organizations especially for those who are living near waterways and other areas classified as “danger-zones” or flood-prone.