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Urban development takes its toll on Cebu City’s rivers and creeks

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THE DOWNSTREAM portion of the Lahug River is already considered dead by the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. — THE FREEMAN.PJEROSAROSO

SOME DOWNSTREAM parts of Cebu City’s rivers are already considered dead, while several are already too polluted to sustain a healthy ecosystem, according to the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CCENRO). “Non-tolerable na (already)… There is too much coliform contamination” said CCENRO head Ma. Nida C. Cabrera, citing results from tests undertaken in the last quarter of 2018. She said the culprits are untreated wastewater discharge from establishments and houses along water systems. The Environment Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) — Region 7 also classified two rivers in the city, Lahug and Bulacao, as class D rivers, which means pollutants there make the rivers uninhabitable for water creatures. The other water systems considered dead are the Mahiga Creek; Lahug River’s T3 — Tejero Creek, Tinago Creek, and T. Padilla Creek; Guadalupe River; and Bulacao River. These rivers are the most exposed to pollutants that can be traced to urban development with the encroachment of business establishments and houses along the easement of the water systems. Ms. Cabrera said the state of the city’s water systems is alarming and stressed the need to implement a rehabilitation plan. The CCENRO has been given a directive by the DENR national office to prioritize the clean-up of all river system this year. The 11-kilometer Bulacao River has been chosen as pilot area for the clean-up that will start in Feb. — The Freeman





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