Amin Abel Santos: Flooding in Colonial City not due to changes in 500-year old drainage

Architect Amin Abel Santos, the coordinator of the InterAmerican Development Bank-funded Colonial City renovations program, denies changes to the rainwater drainage system would have caused the 7 May 2024 flooding in the Colonial City and Calle El Conde.

City expert Waldys Jaquez had concluded when interviewed by Mariasela Alvarez for Esta Noche con Mariasela for the 13 May 2024 TV program that the IDB contractors had replaced sections of the 500 year old drainage system with modern pipes and paving drainage that are not adequate for the amount of garbage that comes with the rainwaters.

Jaquez had highlighted during the interview that the problems were being caused by clogging of drainage due to the excess garbage flowing south from Little Haiti, in the Mercado Modelo area of Av. Mella.

Comprehensive Tourism and Urban Development Program of the Colonial City, coordinator, architect Amín Abel Santos, said the revitalization works underway have not touched the storm drainage system that Governor Nicolás de Ovando installed more than 500 years ago. Ovando overbuilt the Colonial City after in 1502 he experienced first-hand the damages a Caribbean hurricane could cause.

Abel Santos says the El Conde flooding on 7 May 2024 was not caused by these interventions, as reported in Diario Libre.

“None of the streets that we have intervened flooded because they have an adapted storm drainage system. We have not touched anything that has to do with the sewers of Ovando. It is nonsense that we have destroyed the sewers of Ovando, most of those sewers in Ovando are not even in use,” said Amín Abel Santos.

He said the program has yet to work on El Conde Street. Abel Santos says that what happened is a result of the deficiency of storm drainage in the northern part of the Colonial City, which has three clogged scuppers.

“What is happening with El Conde Street, what affects it is from Palo Hincado to Santomé, and is a product of the deficiency of the storm drainage in the northern area, which runs down Mella Avenue like a river and obviously gets into El Conde,” he indicated.

The situation in Little Haiti off Av. Mella is not new, what is new is the flooding of the rainwaters.

Yet Abel Santos does not see the connection with the works underway. He told Diario Libre that from the point of view of the Comprehensive Tourism and Urban Development Program of the Colonial City, on the contrary, work is being done to update the system with the installation of cisterns in the permeable pavement to channel water for cleaning the public spaces in the area and other purposes.

“We are paying attention to that and yes, we are going to provide a solution to the situation,” he said.

Nevertheless, he concurred with Jaquez on the need to resolve issues with Little Haiti and garbage generated in the Mercado Modelo area to the north of the Colonial City walls.

Abel Santos says that the problem of storm drainage in the northern area needs to be resolved because of the volume of water that comes down the Palo Hincado from Mella, Benito and all those streets, including 30 de Marzo, that drain south.

The coordinator of the Comprehensive Tourism and Urban Development Program of the Colonial City stated that the reality is that when all these factors are added, a more precarious situation is created.

Abel Santos was director of Planning for the City Government of the National District when Tourism Minister David Collado was Mayor of the National District (2016-2020).

Read more in Spanish:
Diario Libre

Esta Noche con Mariasela

DR1 News

15 May 2024