The Pasig river is the lifeline of Metro Manila in the Philippines. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) y said it is cooperating with Manila Water Company Inc. to conduct an overhaul assessment of Pasig River, the Philippine capital's polluted main waterway, which threatens the health and livelihoods of around 11 million urban inhabitants.
The ADB said the 27-kilometer-long Pasig River was once used by locals as a source of drinking water and fish, and a place to swim, but in recent decades it has been polluted by the increasing amounts of untreated sewage brought by rapid urbanization and insufficient sanitation systems.
"Nearly 60 percent of the water pollution in metro Manila is caused by residential sewage since only about 12 percent of households are connected to a sewerage system while the rest empty their wastewater directly into the city's rivers," said Philip Erquiaga, Director General of ADB's Private Sector Operations Department. "This study will assess what needs to be done to turn the Pasig River back into the healthy, thriving heart of the city that it once was."
The six-month assessment should provide key information that will lead to the building of a wastewater treatment system under Manila Water's Pasig River Catchment Sewerage Project that covers the municipalities of Quezon, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Makati, Taguig and Pateros, the ADB said.
The ADB will fund 300,000 U.S. dollars for the assessment project with Manila Water covering the rest. The multi-lateral development said it is also considering to provide Manila Water with a private-sector project loan to fund implementation of the waterway treatment system.