Engr. Romeo G. Quiza, NIA 8 Regional Manager, closely monitors the on-going Sta. Rita Small Reservoir Irrigation Project (SRIP). Quiza, trying to instruct the foreman of Aqualine Construction, Inc., “Unahin yung dam, it is the heart and soul of the project”.

The Project

Sta. Rita SRIP is a locally funded irrigation project with an estimated cost amounting to 695.393M. The project envisions to develop the full potential of Silaga River with a catchment area of 58 square kilometers through the construction of Earthfill Enbankment Dam. It is designed to impound 12 million cubic meters (MCM) of fresh water intended for irrigation, fish culture, hydro power and other incidental benefits of the project. It also aims to increase agricultural production, maintain ecological balance and improve the living environment from the point of rural development through the provision of assured irrigation water. The project targets to finish in 2017.

The dam construction will be traversing the Silaga River in Barangay Maligaya. The storage reservoir covers all and portions of four (4) barangays in Sta. Rita, Western Samar—Brgy. Union, Brgy. Tominamos I, Brgy. Maligaya and Brgy. Old Manunca.

The structure is composed of a main dam and a saddle dam with a spillway in between. The duckbill weir type of dam spillway is located on the right side of the main dam facing  downstream. It is designed to withstand the maximum probable flood of 491.45 cubic meter per second and or a flood with a return period of 100 years. The bottom width of the spillway channel is 15 meters throughout its length of 27.50 meters. A spillway bridge is planned across the spillway chute to provide a continuous access, up to the end of the saddle dam during operation. The dam will be a good countermeasure to flashflood prone areas in the downstream sections of Silaga River. The maximum probable flood will be contained and the excess floodwater will be regulated to spill in order to reduce the possibility of flashflood in the low lying areas.

 This project aims to provide irrigation through its outlet works connected to the service canal that will supply water to agricultural lands extending to seven (7) barangays— Brgy. San Eduardo, Brgy. Maligaya, Brgy. Tulay, Brgy. Camayse, Brgy. Tominamos I, Brgy. Anibongon, Brgy. Anibongon- Sitio Ormoc anay and Brgy. Gumamela-Sitio Kadaragan. It will irrigate 916 hectares of rice lands in Sta. Rita, Western Samar with about 764 farmer beneficiaries and is expected to increase the annual production. Thus, it will further support the government’s thrust for rice self-sufficiency.

Affected Areas

 Residents from the four (4) barangays covered for storage reservoir are expected to transfer at the relocation site in October 2016. They will be given corehouses or paid comparable to their established houses, including row damages of plants, trees and crops they possess. The affected area is 7km away from the resettlement area. It can be reached by walking the slopes for two (2) hours. Thus, a timber bridge was constructed as an access road for their easy transfer. Also, 263 catacomb were constructed for those cadavers of 5 years below and 5 years above from affected burial grounds.   

As to other residents, relocating them, means efficient response by the government and access for better education, health and income. Consequently, the project strengthens the partnership of stakeholders for inclusive rural development.