Forty Two (42) years of providing water to the people of Zamboanga City is an achievement already by itself but still the city water utility firm looks to the years ahead to build an even better water system for the city.
In a keynote address during yesterday’s simple celebration of the city’s water firm 42nd anniversary, Zamboanga City Water District Board Chair Edwin M. Caliolio emphasized the need to build for the years ahead.
He cited the difficult situation currently confronting the water firm as it struggles with a crippling El Niño induced crisis, to deliver ample supply of potable water to close to a million residents of the city.
Chairman Caliolio said this will be overcome as the local water utility firm rounds up completion of several big ticket infrastructure projects this year.
Among these are the 50 million liters day (MLD) filtration plant in Patalon being undertaking by the Villar – backed Prime water resources, the non – revenue water (NRW) reduction project being pursued by the Ayala backed Manila Water, the west coast pipeline project by Eco – System Technologies Inc. (ESTI) and two others in various stages of progress.
These include the Sewer Treatment Plant (STP) project and the mammoth water impounding dam currently being assisted by USAID Be Secure project.
Also in the pipeline is the retrofitting of the old 20 MLD plant in Pasonanca and the construction of another 50 MLD in the city’s east coast.
The young board chairman added these will secure the future of generations yet to come who hopefully will not bothered by such problems as the present water shortage.
Caliolio added the present water district leadership to include General Manager Leonardo Rey Vasquez and his able lieutenants will make these legacies of their vision of making the city water sufficient for the years to come.
In a closing remark, Technical Services Group Assistant General Manager Arnulfo A. Alfonso called attention to the need for the preservation of the city’s vital watershed and a re-focus of people’s culture on water usage and conservation.
He warned the climate change phenomenon is real and will be recurring in the future and people will be well served by being prepared and changing their lifestyle when it comes to water usage.
The anniversary rites was preceded by a holy mass officiated by Reverend Father Jude Duncombe, followed by breakfast for the employees and the retirees of the district and some invited guests.
The district acknowledged the different agencies such as City Government of Zamboanga, Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), Philippine Red Cross and Zamboanga City Fire District who work hand – in – hand in providing adequate water supply to its consumers in the midst of El Niño in the city.
Loyalty awards were also handed out to employees who served the water firm for over 10 years.
(Ed D. Baños CREAS ZCWD)