CDIA Proposes a Phased Investment Project to Improve Public Health and Environment in Tacloban City
February 24, 2023
CDIA, currently at the midpoint of its ongoing project preparation study (PPS) in Tacloban City, Philippines, has identified critical investments on faecal sludge and wastewater management to address the city’s sanitation and water pollution problems. When implemented, the investments being planned are expected to lead to a better environment and water quality of bays and rivers surrounding the city, toward improved public health and overall urban livability.
Tacloban City is a highly urbanized commercial and financial center of the Eastern Visayas Region. Like many other coastal cities in the Philippines, it is highly susceptible to natural disasters and the impacts of climate change. In 2013, it was among the areas severely hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest typhoon ever recorded in recent world history.
As Haiyan devastated settlements in Tacloban’s coastal areas, the city government relocated 16,000 families to higher ground in the northern part of the city. The resettlement area, however, as with other areas of Tacloban City, is lacking basic infrastructure and services like sanitation.
Typically, city residents use on-site sanitation facilities, primarily pour flush toilets with septic tanks. Without systems for desludging and wastewater, all septic tank effluent and grey water is discharged to the poorly maintained drainage system toward inland water bodies and ultimately to Anibong, Cancabato and Panalaron Bays and San Juanico Strait. A cholera outbreak in Tacloban in 2022 was attributed to pollution resulting from wastewater discharge from the city’s northern resettlement areas.
To ensure that sanitation services are made available to residents in Tacloban North and protect marine waters, the city government sought CDIA’s support to prepare a feasibility study and preliminary design for a faecal sludge management (FSM) project for the resettlement areas and wastewater treatment facility for commercial areas.
Following a comprehensive review of the city’s water and sanitation situation and consultations with various stakeholders, CDIA identified a phased investment project to address the wastewater pollution problem in Tacloban. The project was proposed to city stakeholders during the interim workshop for the project preparation study held on 21 February 2023.
The investment project seeks to produce four outputs: 1) FSM established in Tacloban City and faecal sludge treatment facilities; 2) wastewater facilities improved in North Tacloban resettlement subdivisions; 3) wastewater collected and treated in South Tacloban; and 4) capacity building on FSM and wastewater management.
Some of the key measures include the upgrading of the existing faecal sludge treatment plant (FSTP) in Barangay Sto. Niño and the construction of a new FSTP in Brgy. San Jose. Other measures include construction of anaerobic baffled reactors plus reed beds, improvement of drainage system, development of drainage and wastewater master plan for the whole city, and construction of sewage treatment plants for the Astrodome as well as public market and fish port.
Following the acceptance of the proposed investments by the city government, CDIA will then move on to Stage 2 of its PPS. This next stage will undertake the feasibility study and preliminary design of the FSM and wastewater projects. It will also conduct due diligence activities and determine the appropriate financing mechanism for the project.