When crossing the Mahiga bridge which connects the Mandaue City Reclamation Area and Cebu City Reclamation Area, the murky silt and reeking smell of the waters from underneath the Mahiga Creek immediately welcomes the passersby and motorists. For years now, Mahiga Creek is treated as a mere outlet for waste and flood water, no less.
Mahiga, just like all creeks/rivers in the country, could be overwhelmed and could come to an extent where it could no longer manage large amounts of rainfall or water. Considering that Mahiga is located in an urban area, this problem was exacerbated by the huge volumes of waste accumulated over time from different sources/contributors discharging domestic sewage (from the private and informal settlements) and industrial waste (from different industries) into the canals that connect to the creek thereby affecting its flow and water quality. Additional pressures of informal settlements along Mahiga created obstructions that could aggravate the flooding problem in the area. Be that as it may, there is an urgent need to plan and implement flood control projects to prevent this problem from persisting in the future.
“City of Atlantis”
The City of Mandaue, is highly motivated to sustaining governmental and multi-sectoral efforts to alleviate if not totally solve the recurring flooding problems in its area of influence. The City Government, in coordination with other agencies, had been laboring to formulate comprehensive plans which incorporate risk reduction management and climate change adaptation to various endeavors. Mostly, they are in the various phases of implementing them.
The easement which paved the way for the gabions to be constructed have provided some pathway trails to be used by government personnel and contractors to stage their engineering equipment in performing maintenance works and in conducting status reports or documentation of the status and condition of Mahiga Creek. It is noteworthy that this has been complemented by the existing laws and ordinances passed by and resettlement schemes and programs adopted by Mandaue City to control the encroachment of illegal settlers to the newly-cleared easements and maintain the stability of these gabions.
Mainstreaming Disaster and Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Community Cohesion
Not only beneficiaries situated along the Mahiga creek but also the rest of the constituents in Mandaue City will come to appreciate the value of these projects and the amount of work involved in order to afford them protection and reduce their vulnerability from flood-related deaths, socio-economic impacts and health and stresses/intangible losses caused by flooding.
We hope that in the near future, much less people will be seen wading in the dirty pool of flood waters.