Building Disaster-Resilient Communities in Flood-Prone Areas: A Demonstration and Pilot Testing of Local Design Innovations for Housing and Small Community Infrastructures

This PDA helped develop innovative planning and design solutions to support the development of disaster-resilient communities in flood prone areas.

Report Card

Completed in December 2012, this PDA developed:

  • Four model disaster-resilient structures: 13-m long wooden bridge, 300-m long bamboo bridge, livelihood center-on-stilts, 2-storey multipurpose center
  • Disaster risk assessment tools in the local language
  • Toolkit on developing disaster-resilient construction material/s and technologies

Read the Final Report [ PDF ].


Approximately 20% of Metro Manila is flood-prone, with some cities more vulnerable than the others. Flood mitigation programs have been implemented since the 1970’s, however, rapid urbanization, encroachment into flood-prone areas, climatic changes, and land-use changes have resulted in an increase in flood risks and flood-related losses. Moreover, the implementation of flood mitigation and drainage infrastructure works has been less than satisfactory.

The most inundated cities are Malabon and Navotas, with Navotas being more at risk having 11 out of 14 barangays along the coast. Residents have developed various ways to cope with regular flooding, including building walls in front of their main doorways or reconstructing their houses above typical flood levels. Measures by local governments to ensure effective mobility required the filling and elevation of main roads; however, this has left local streets at a lower level, trapping water in these streets and exacerbating the flooding problem.

The urban poor however cannot afford these necessary improvements. Most residents continue to stay in the inundated areas despite the health risks of living most of the year above stagnant and dirty water. In Navotas, for instance, houses for poor communities are built on banks of rivers or on the river itself within the natural floodplains without proper infrastructure and sanitation system. These are the vulnerable groups who will be the target for application of innovative solutions to address flooding.

Expected Outcomes

  • Enhanced capacity of the urban poor community to design and retrofit their existing homes into disaster-resilient homes