Editorial: A need to assess Davao's flood mitigation projects

Editorial: A need to assess Davao's flood mitigation projects

INCIDENTS of flooding have been quite common lately in the city despite efforts to make some parts less flood-prone.

On February 21, 2023, heavy evening rains flooded several low-lying areas in the city. Jade Valley has once again experienced flooding that has nearly reached the roof of some houses.

The city also implemented evacuation in barangays along the river banks. At around 10:51 p.m. a portion of the Davao River in Barangay (Brgy.) Tamugan and a portion of Bunawan River in Brgy. Bunawan were monitored to be at Code Red (Critical Level). It was also declared Code Yellow for the Lasang River in Brgy. Pañalum and Matina River in Brgy. Matina Biao. A Code Orange was issued for Talomo River in Brgy. Tugbok.

Sirens were also sounded in areas along the riverbanks that were affected by increasing water levels.

Eventually, the water subsided hours later.

While the city government of Davao has been effective in its disaster response, maybe it is time for the city to conduct an in-depth assessment of its flood mitigation initiatives.

It has to re-assess if the existing flood control projects are enough to prevent or mitigate floods in the city in the foreseeable future. It has to check if these projects are future-proof in the sense that they will still be usable in the next five to ten years. It would be too costly for the city if it needs to upgrade these flood control projects every year.

The review of the flood control projects in the city must also include the assessment of riverbanks and upland areas. The trees in the uplands could already be thinning out. As a result, there is nothing to prevent waters from flooding low-lying areas.

The city must act efficiently and fast in coming up with smart, efficient, and environmentally-friendly ways to mitigate flooding in the low-lying areas of the city. With the changing weather patterns and the frequency of floods, there is no choice for the city but to adapt through smart solutions.


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