MANILA, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the World Bank (WB) have approved the funding to improve flood management in select drainage areas in the Metro Manila, a WB statement said on Friday.
The Philippine capital with 12.8 million people is prone to flooding particularly during the typhoon season from June to October. It's a recurring problem that causes inundation of roads, exacerbates traffic congestion and destroys the lives, infrastructure and livelihood of people, especially the poor.
Under the Metro Manila Flood Management Project, the statement said 36 existing pumping stations will be modernized, 20 new ones will be constructed, and supporting infrastructure along critical waterways will be improved in the cities of Manila, Pasay, Taguig, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Pasig, Valenzuela, Quezon City, and Caloocan.
Many of Metro Manila's existing pumping stations were built in the 1970s and become inefficient and underperforming.
"With this project the government is taking an important step in the implementation of the Metro Manila Flood Management Master Plan designed to safely control floods in the national capital region and surrounding areas," said Philippine Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar.
Villar said the master plan will take 25 years to implement "but this phase of modernizing Metro Manila's pumping station will ensure that 7 million residents will be less vulnerable to floods."
Solid waste clogs waterways and entries to pumping stations, affecting the operation and maintenance of the pumps. The project will improve management of solid waste within the villages near the drainage systems served by the pumping stations.
It will also support the government's resettlement of informal settlers that are located on the waterways, the statement said.
The project will cost 500 million U.S. dollars, of which 207.6 million dollars will come from the WB. AIIB will provide another 207.6 million dollars separately while the Philippine government will provide the remaining 84.79 million dollars, the statement said.
"The floods disrupt business and commercial activities, causing unnecessary economic costs. Investing in sustainable infrastructure is a key priority for AIIB and we feel the project is a great fit for our investment in the Philippines," said Supee Teravaninthorn, AIIB director general for investment operations.
The statement said the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Metro Manila Development Authority will implement the project in close coordination with local governments and key shelter agencies.
Slated to start this year, the statement said the project is scheduled to be completed in 2024.