Davao City lacks equipment for disposing dirt from drainage canals

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 September) — The Drainage Maintenance Unit of the City Engineer’s Office lacked equipment for the fast disposal of dirt gathered from drainage canals, DMU chief Yusof Jimlani admitted on Monday.

Jimlani said DMU had gathered 26.87 tons of dirt from the city’s drainage systems but it could not be collected immediately as the CEO did not have enough hauling equipment

The dirt had only been removed from the culverts and left on the side for the CEO to collect.

Speaking at Monday’s weekly Kapehan sa SM, Jimlani said the CEO only had five dump trucks for hauling dirt from the culverts.

“The DMU is gathering the dirt too fast,” he said.

In a telephone interview Tuesday, CEO officer-in-charge Roland Reyes also admitted they lacked equipment but said the collection of the dirt from the drainage systems depended on several factors.

He explained that the collection process depended on the location, volume and the travel time of the trucks to and from the disposal areas.

“The nearest disposal area we have is in Mintal. Another one is in Toril,” he said.

He added that one such area is at least 20 kilometers away.

Reyes said the collection process also depended on the size of the dump.

The city has imposed speed limits, the fastest of which is 60 kph.

Reyes said the Vactor trucks used by the CEO were also available to suck out dirt and silt from closed culverts.

For open culverts, he said manual methods can be used.

“This is not just a problem of the drainage team and the City Engineer’s Office,” he said. “This is a problem of different units of the city government with their own ways of doing things.”

Recently, floods submerged parts of the downtown area, with waters reaching ankle deep within minutes of heavy rain.

The city is surrounded by several bodies of water, such as the Davao River and the Davao Gulf.

Last month, the Department of Public Works and Highways said it had completed the construction of an expansion of the large drainage canal along Roxas Avenue.

The project cost P30 million. (MindaNews)