NHA curbs flooding in ‘Yolanda’ housing sites

By Sarwell Meniano

January 9, 2018, 6:01 pm

TACLOBAN CITY -- The National Housing Authority (NHA) said mitigating measures had been established to curb massive flooding in relocation sites meant as safe grounds for families badly hit by the 2013 Super Typhoon Yolanda. 

NHA Regional Manager Rizalde Mediavillo said Tuesday that they had been meeting local government units and housing project developers to come up with drainage projects for Yolanda housing sites.

The NHA acted on the report that several housing sites were flooded last December and last week when storms “Urduja” and “Vinta” dumped heavy rains in the region.

The worst was in this city’s New Hope Village where a three-year-old boy died when he was sucked into a storm water drain.

The boy’s mother Angelyn Guilleno, 22, said they feared for their safety after the chest-deep flooding.
“I think it is safer to live near the sea than here because flooding is more frequent than storm surges,” she said.

Guilleno blamed the NHA and the contractor for the unfinished drainage system that took the life of her child near their new home, which they considered as safer ground. The same site was visited by President Rodrigo Duterte on Jan. 25 last year.

Mediavillo admitted that no budget was allotted for the drainage system for post-“Yolanda” housing projects in central Philippines.

“We need more permanent solutions to drain the water out of the housing projects. The drainage is beyond the cost of the housing project, but we asked the developer to go the extra mile. The local government is also doing something to address the problem,” he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Massive flooding was reported in relocation sites identified as safe zones for thousands of families who suffered the most when “Yolanda’s” powerful winds whipped big waves. These areas were in this city; Tanauan, Leyte; Ormoc City; Basey, Samar; Palo, Leyte; and Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

“These resettlement sites are safe from storm surges, but water from the mountains threatened relocated families because of the poor drainage system and garbage that blocked the waterways,” Mediavillo said.

The NHA intends to build 56,000 permanent houses in Eastern Visayas for the typhoon survivors. A total of 12,000 had been completed as of last year. Most of these housing units are in this city. (PNA)

Featured photo courtesy of Ted Jopson, Tacloban city housing office