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ADB approves technical assistance for flood risk management project

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STUDENTS and commuters wade through a flooded street at the corner of UN and Taft avenues in Manila following a heavydown pour yesterday. — PHILSTAR/ MIGUEL ANTONIO DE GUZMAN

THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) on June 21 said it approved a technical assistance grant for the Integrated Flood Risk Management Sector Project covering various river basins across the Philippines.

The grant involves a $1-million technical assistance grant, co-financed with another $300,000 grant from the Cooperation Fund for Project Preparation in the Greater Mekong Subregion and in Other Specific Asian Countries.

The project is designed to reduce the vulnerability of families located near six of the country’s flood-prone river basins in Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

ADB will assist the government by improving flood risk management planning through strengthening data acquisition and data management, and improving flood protection asset management.

It will also aid the government in rehabilitating and constructing flood protection infrastructure; raising community awareness, and preparing and implementing disaster flood risk reduction and management plans.

The river basins in the project include the Apayao-Abulog river, the Abra river, the Jalaur river on Panay, and Mindanao’s Agus, Buayan-Malungon, and the Tagum-Libuganon rivers.

“The transaction technical assistance will help the government to prepare the ensuing project as well as develop a preliminary road map and a long-term investment program for flood risk management,” the ADB document read.

The lender said that the grant will also help fund feasibility studies, detailed engineering design, procurement, social and environment safeguard assessments.

“The poor are more vulnerable to disasters (flooding), which are exacerbated by climate change, as they have less means to cope with these events,” ADB said.

“The project will enhance their resilience to disasters by reducing flood risks, reducing vulnerability before, during, and after flooding events, improving early warning systems, rehabilitating flood protection infrastructure, incorporating flood risk in land-use planning and management, preparing disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) plans, and improving community awareness and preparedness,” it added.

The project will be executed by the Department of Public Works and Highways. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan