GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/17 October) — The city government has earmarked some P52.8 million for the construction of additional dikes along the banks of four major river systems that traverse six villages within the city.
Engr. John Marc Reyes, acting city engineer, said the new dikes will be installed in portions of the banks of the critical Silway, Calumpang, Apopong and Sinawal rivers to address the flooding in several communities in the area during the rainy periods.
“These will help stabilize the flow of these rivers and protect the communities situated near the river banks from heavy flooding,” he said.
Reyes said among the lined up projects is the P4.8 million gabion dike that would be constructed by next month along the banks of Silway River in Purok Johnny Ang Paradise in Barangay City Heights.
Reyes said they prioritized Barangay City Heights for the project due to the high risk of heavy flooding in the area.
Last week, 61 families from Puroks PI-16 and Johnny Ang Paradise were forced to evacuate due to the swelling of the Silway River, which triggered waist-deep floods in the area.
Silway River, which flows to Sarangani Bay, is the main outlet of several river-tributaries from the upland areas in nearby South Cotabato province.
In June and July, several portions of the dike along the Silway River suffered breaches and eventually collapsed following heavy rains in the area.
At the height of the floods then, some 20 feet of the protection dike in Barangay City Heights was destroyed, triggering massive flooding in nearby communities.
Local village officials and residents stacked hundreds of sand bags along the breached dike but they were washed away by last week’s floods.
“We’ll be constructing the new gabion dike at the upper portion of the river bank to ensure its stability in case the river’s water level would again rise,” Reyes said.
The official said the city government has also allocated P11 million for the new gabion dikes in Purok Lanton and Purok 6 of Sto. Nino in Barangay Apopong; P5.5 million for the Barangay Mabuhay dike; P12.4 million for the dikes in Purok Greenville and Purok Quilantang of Barangay Calumpang; P13.7 million for the dike in Barangay Labangal; and, P5.4 million for the dike in Barangay Dadiangas North.
The local government pushed for the construction of the gabion dikes, which have an estimated life span of five to 10 years, as an immediate solution to the flooding problems in the area.
The Department of Public Works and Highways earlier proposed for the construction of a six-kilometer mega dike for the Silway-Apopong-Sinawal river basin but the project would cost around P360 million. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)