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CDIA Helps Tacloban City Draw Up its Sanitation Program

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The inadequate sanitation services in Tacloban City in the Philippines have led to wastewater overflows, poor water quality in rivers and bays, and most notably a cholera outbreak in 2022.  

With support from CDIA, the city government has developed a long-term and city-wide wastewater and faecal sludge management (FSM) program with strategic investments that can be implemented in a phased manner from 2022 to 2052.  

Aimed to enhance the environmental conditions, quality of life, and economic development in Tacloban City, the investments, which are estimated at the base cost of US$131, will cover a range of interventions, which were identified from a series of stakeholder consultations and comprehensive review of the city’s water and sanitation situation.  

In the immediate term, the investments include developing the city’s FSM program, upgrading the faecal sludge treatment plant (FSTP) in Barangay Sto. Nino, developing an FSTP in San Jose, enhancing the North Tacloban wastewater management, setting up commercial wastewater treatment plants, and key activities toward the development of Tacloban City Sewerage and Drainage Master Plan, etc. CDIA’s team of consultants has undertaken preliminary designs and cost estimates for the infrastructure sub-projects included in the initial stage. 

Other investments to be carried out in the long run include developing combined sewerage systems in Mangonbangon, Tanghas-Lirang, Burayan, and Tigbao catchment areas, among others. 

At the Final Workshop held on 20 June 2023 to culminate the nine-month-long project preparation study (PPS) supported by CDIA, its consultants discussed the proposed investments with government officials and local stakeholders. 

Representatives from the regional offices of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), National Housing Authority (NHA), and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), as well as officials from the Tacloban City Planning and Development Office, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center of the Philippines and other relevant stakeholders joined the said workshop. 

“I would like to commend the team and the city for all their efforts to get to this final stage,” said Lara Arjan, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Project Officer in charge of CDIA during her welcome remarks. “It was not easy, but we had the support we needed from the city. I look forward to seeing the recommendations of the study being implemented,” she added. 

Upon implementation, the investments are expected to improve access to quality sanitation services in the city, particularly in the North Tacloban resettlement areas, where 40% of the population has been relocated following the onslaught of Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, the strongest typhoon ever recorded in modern world history. 

The new wastewater treatment facilities in the resettlement areas, coupled with the setting up of treatment plants at the outfall of major rivers and key commercial facilities in the southern part of the city will prevent the discharge of septic tank effluent and grey water to the drainage system and on to inland water bodies, the bays surrounding the city, and San Juanico Strait. The measures are likewise expected to prevent another cholera outbreak, which in 2022 affected over 400 residents.  

Ultimately, the proposed interventions are expected to enhance the inclusiveness, sustainability, and livability of Tacloban City.  

 

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