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Sunday, August 23, 2009

DPWH to Save KAMANAVA’s Historical Sites and Boost Tourism

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is rushing the completion of the P 5.18 Billion mega-dike project in the KAMANAVA area in order to spare 2.56 million people from persistent floods and to protect historical sites in the former Spanish communities.

In an interview, Carla Bartolo, project director of DPWH KAMANAVA Flood Control Project Management Office, said the project is now 94% completed and is expected to be finished by December this year.

"We are fighting against time to complete this project not only to alleviate the living condition of the people here but also to preserve what remained of the historical and heritage sites," she said of the historically rich towns in Kalookan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela.

KAMANAVA has rich historical sites like the Bonifacio Monument, the Bell Tower of San Diego De Alcala Church, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, and other heritage landmarks dating as far back as the 1800's.

Bartolo said that once the floods are contained, KAMANAVA has the potential of achieving progress because of its historical sites which can attract tourists here and abroad.

"Once the floods are gone, the tourists will come in," she said.

According to Bartolo, the mega-dike project covers 18.50 sq. km of flood-prone areas in the cities of Kalookan, Malabon, and Navotas. The feasibility study of Valenzuela area will be undertaken under a separate drainage area.

The project also includes the raising of river walls on the left and right banks of the Malabon-Tullahan and Navotas-Tullahan River, the construction of flood control gates, pumping stations, and drainage channels, and the improvement of drainage channels.

Bartolo further said that the flooding in the said areas have occurred since early times due to physical conditions of the site. However, the recent rapid urbanization, coupled with land subsidence, has induced severe flood damage everytime it rains.

Other contributing factors to the flooding in KAMANAVA are the high tide at Manila Bay, the run-off increase due to urbanization, reclamation, topography and inadequate capacity of drainage channels due to siltation and obstruction.

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