Soliven initiates formal step to end future water crisis in Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 21 June 2015 14:52

Regional Development Council IX, Economic Development Committee Chairman and Private Sector Representative of Zamboanga City  Pocholo N. Soliven initiated the first step towards the realization of the much delayed water impounding dam project, a long term pro-active World Bank project that was conceptualized but never took off in 1995 .

“ Had we pursued it to make it happen then, we could have  averted the water crisis Zamboanga City is experiencing today,” Soliven said.

In his explanatory note on why the need to build a water impounding dam, Soliven emphasized that Zamboanga City is the regional capital for trade and commerce and  it is being positioned as the Agri Fisheries Corridor of the country, and is now the host of 12 sardines manufacturing plants, holding the distinction as the Sardines capital of the Philippines.

“The survival and continued viability of these industries depend largely on the availability and dependability as well as affordability of water considering that these are food processing which requires large volume of water for their operation,” Soliven said.

“The rapid urbanization of the city and the increase in demand for water is averaging at 3 percent per annum  among households underscores the  liveability  issue where a highly urbanize city like Zamboanga where a basic need like water is scarce...is a cause for alarm and should act with a sense of urgency, Soliven added.

Citing Zamboanga City Water District latest data , only 56 barangays are being serviced by ZCWD, and out of the total 143,443  estimated households , as of 2014, only 54,135 have water service connections .

The figures shows a wide gap in the number of households that do not have access to safe drinking water taking into account the assumption that one service connection is equal to one household. A further analysis of the figures would show that even  if 50 percent of the gap is considered as secondary users of water ,studies shows that a huge market of about 45,000 households are in need of water connection services.

Soliven’s resolution will now start the process in seeking assistance from the National Government on undertaking a feasibility study for the construction of a state of the art impounding dam facility and in sourcing out funds in whatever modality that will fast track the realization with a sense of urgency to stabilize the water situation in the city.

The resolution was unanimously approved and will now go to the plenary for final endorsement. Regional Development Council is the highest  planning and policy making body in the region, it serves as a counterpart of National economic Development Authority. All projects and programs related to economic development such as infrastructure for approval and funding either through government or through Private Public Partnerships. — Robert C. Francisco