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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Zambo under state of calamity due to ‘critical’ water supply
By Emmanuel D. Taghoy

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan. 14 (PIA) – During its maiden session Tuesday, the city council here has declared Zamboanga City under a state of calamity after the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) sought council’s approval to affirm its report on the receding water flow at the Pasonanca diversion dam, which is now at a critical level.

ZCWD requested the approval of the city government per recommendation of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) on to declare the city under a state of calamity in order to allow the agency to establish contingency plans with the use of the calamity funds.

In his letter to Mayor Climaco, ZCWD General Manager Leonardo Vasquez said other action plans have been lined up for execution during emergencies, require the necessary funding that will be sourced from the calamity fund.

The water level at the Pasonanca diversion dam, a barometer on the state of the city’s current water supply, stood at 74.10 meters compared to its normal level which is 74.20 meters based from recent reports.

ZCWD has even imposed water rationing in the city effective Jan. 8 due to the continuous decline in the water level.

The rotating water services interruption is only one of the few mitigating measures that the water firm is undertaking to ease the effects of “one of the worst if not the worst El  Niño phenomenon compared to that of 1997-1988,” in a press release issued by the city.

“The city council put into consideration the need to mitigate the impact of the dry spell on the residents and the agriculture sector and other concerned sectors,” Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde also said.