SOME 100 structures built on top of a creek in Barangay Carreta, Cebu City will soon be removed by the City Government, leaving some 120 families homeless.

This is for the families’ safety and to restore the size of the waterway, Mayor Michael Rama said. The structures are located at the back of the Chinese Cemetery.

“That (clearing) is already long overdue. Now, we should confront it proactively because what do you expect when hundreds of houses are built on top of a creek? Where will the water go? Every time there is heavy rain, it will create problem,” Rama said.

He said he is afraid the structures will be washed away during a flood.

“All occupants above the creek are very much aware that there is already that impending (clearing operation),” he said.

The mayor lamented that the City cannot even desilt or dredge the creek, which forms part of the Lahug River, because it cannot access the waterway because of the structures.

No time frame

Rama said the affected families have yet to be sent notices of demolition. He said that will be handled by the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP).

Rama met yesterday with the Project Reduction Danger Zone, headed by Tinago Barangay Captain Joel Garganera, the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Department of Engineering and Public Works, among others, to discuss the clearing operation.

The mayor said there is no time frame yet on when the demolition will take place, adding that the City has yet to prepare the families’ relocation site.

But the families should set a self-imposed deadline because he doesn’t want the matter to be discussed next year.

“It cannot anymore wait because of so much environmental degradation has already been felt within the area,” he said.

Rama said the Ayala Land Corp. is willing to help restore the creek.

In a separate interview yesterday, Garganera said they will meet on Thursday to discuss the technicalities on the implementation of the clearing operation.

He said there is a need to conduct an inventory to determine exactly how many structures there are and how many families live on top of the creek.

He said he also wants the DWUP to identify the relocation site for the families and to make sure it is habitable.

“We have to cover everything. This is not just a simple destruction of structures but we also have to give dignity to the families,” he said.

Garganera said he is willing to meet with concerned families to explain to them the need to remove them from the danger zone.