WITH an aim of minimizing the effects of floods in the community, the Federal Republic of Germany has donated flood-mitigating equipment to the local government in Masantol town, Pampanga.
Three sets of demountable flood barriers were personally turned over by German Ambassador to the Philippines Anke Reiffenstuel to the local government here led by Mayor Danilo Guintu.
According to RS Flood Control Asia, the company that developed the equipment, the flood barriers are tailored to fit the area where it will be installed and once the flood panels are assembled, their seals can be tightened through the compression clamps to ensure that water cannot pass through.
It can protect structures from flood as high as four meters and its ground plates and anchors can be controlled so they can resist the strong push of floodwater pressure.
The flood-mitigating equipment, which is said to be more sustainable and durable than sandbags, was installed at the Rural Health Center I situated at the Municipal Hall grounds.
Reiffenstuel said the health care center is one of the two medical institutions in the country that were identified for the German government-funded project.
"It is essential that health care institutions – having a critical role in the fight against the pandemic – are able to continue their services even in challenging circumstances like heavy rain and floods," she said.
Reiffenstuel also said the project is a manifestation of the strong partnership between the Philippines and Germany.
"The spirit of partnership and solidarity has been the guiding principle for this German government-funded project. Providing flood protection installations at health care centers that provide services also to Covid-19 patients is an important contribution in the international fight against the pandemic," she said.
Meanwhile, Guintu expressed gratitude to Reiffenstuel and the Federal Republic of Germany for choosing Masantol as recipient of the said project.
"The donation will surely boost our health care program in town, especially during this pandemic when health is our most valuable wealth. This innovative equipment will ensure the continuous and fast delivery of health services to our constituents," he said.
Guintu also said as a low-lying municipality, flooding will always be part of the lives of Masantoleños and such innovative projects are needed to ensure that its effects are minimized.
He added that the turnover of the donation is very timely as the rainy season has come and flooding is expected soon.
"With the ongoing upgrade of roads surrounding the municipal hall grounds, flooding in the area might be experienced soon but our worries are lessened with the installation of the flood barriers," he said.