February 18, 2007

85% complete
Laoag river basin control project almost done

PHASE I of the multi-billion-peso Laoag river basin and flood control project is almost complete.

Engineer Andy Soza, project management officer of the flood control project, reported this on February 9 saying that the sabo dam and dike system project covering 11 municipalities in the province is 85 percent done on its first phase.

The flood control project is meant to address the heavy sedimentation of the river system brought about by typhoons.

As a remedy, Soza explained that they are constructing a series of earth dikes to confine the flood flow within the river system and to mitigate simple flooding in the flood-prone areas of Ilocos Norte.

Currently, Soza said the contract package I of the project, which consists of the Sabo dam is at 86 percent completion and the construction is ahead by 12 percent. He added that contract package II, which consists of the diking system had so far been 24 percent complete.

We are ahead by 24 percent, he said.

The project began in 2004 and is expected to be completed by February 2008.

The river control projects involve the construction of five sabo dams worth P850 million in four towns, and a P2.2-billion dike spanning the towns of Dingras, Solsona, Marcos, Banna and Nueva Era and this city.

The dike system covers 87 km.

The DPWH has tapped Japanese contractors to build the projects.

Glen Reyes, an engineer of the DPWH flood control and sabo dam project, said floodwaters coming from the river spill over to low-lying areas on opposite sections, submerging houses, farms and the business district of San Nicolas.

Reyes said two of the sabo dams were nearing completion while the rest were 50-percent completed. The dam projects are in the towns of Carasi, Solsona, Dingras and Nueva Era where major rivers are found.

Leilanie G. Adriano>

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