DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 May) – A team of experts commissioned by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has started a feasibility study on Davao City’s sewerage management system, an ambitious project that involves building wastewater treatment facilities along coastal areas to address the contamination in the river and beach waters, according to Assistant City Administrator Tristan Dwight Domingo.
Domingo, in an interview at the sidelines of the celebration for the enthronement of Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and the 100th anniversary of the Davao Japanese Community at the Marco Polo Davao on Thursday, said that the primary area recommended as the site for the first of the six-phase sewerage treatment park project is the Magsaysay Park.
“I think without a doubt if we can be successful in doing it, we will be the first city to have this type of system to manage our wastewater. But … we would temper our expectation because it’s quite difficult and quite new for a city here in the country to have a very effective sewerage system,” he said.
Under the Infrastructure Modernization for Davao City (IM4Davao) – a 27-year plan containing short, medium, and long-term proposed high priority projects with an estimated cost of P298.4 billion – there have been six sewerage treatment parks being planned in different areas of the city.
The ongoing feasibility study, which will be completed by the first quarter of 2020, will determine the suitability of the Magsaysay Park as a location for the sewerage treatment plant, design, acceptability in the community, timeline, and significance to the development thrust of the local government, Domingo said.
“The proposal for the wastewater treatment facility will be located at the coastal areas because it is where the wastewater from the uplands, or from all over the city, usually passes before it reaches the sea or the ocean,” he said.
According to the JICA-funded IM4Davao, the river waters and beach waters of the city are seriously contaminated, particularly with fecal coliform and the urgent tool to address it is the septage service while the ultimate solution is sewerage service.
Among the proposed short-term projects under IM4Davao include installation and operation of septage plants and preparation for the sewerage system project, including the designation of an implementing body with necessary capacity building, sewerage system master plan, feasibility study for Area A sewerage system, basic and detailed design, and tender preparation for Area A sewerage system, and land acquisition for Area A sewerage treatment plant.
It also proposed mid-term projects, or from 2023 to 2030, such as the construction and operation of sewerage system, preparation, and construction of Area B and Area C sewerage systems, and preparation of Area D sewerage systems while the long-term, or from 2031 to 2045, are the construction and operation of the rest of sewerage systems.
He said it would cost a huge amount for the city to build all six phases but added the city will explore all possible sources of funds to get it done. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)