On August 28, 2019, heavy rains hit Davao, the river rose and flooded their respective areas. But there are those who live near the river banks that barely escaped. These are their stories.
The Tzu Chi Clean Up Drive started on September 4 and ended in September 6. People living near the river banks are in dire need of assistance as the river devastated homes that lined its banks.
Epifania Dorado, whose house was smashed by debris from the river and collided with three houses in Purok 62, Talomo said, “If we hadn’t fled to higher ground, we surely would’ve been swept away. If we can rebuild our house even to a simple hut, we would be happy. Our neighbours help us by giving us food, clothes, and other needs. Thank you Tzu Chi for coming here and helping us.”
In Purok 46-B, a similar incident happened to houses that line their little village. Elisa Bitah, whose house was also by the riverside lost everything, she said, “We were displaced by the flood. I have four sons who just lost a home. This is the first time that, over four years of living here, a flood has devoured our entire home. We weren’t able to save anything because we fled with our children. We’re still waiting for instructions about relocating. We need to be relocated because who knows if this will happen again”.
Joven Uy, a Tzu Chi Volunteer from Bohol who understood their vernacular said solemnly, “We’ve seen how the houses are by the river are prone to flooding. The long-term solution here is for the residents to be relocated away from the river so that they won’t be at risk. Tzu Chi has done this before, relocating 70 families away from the river in Bohol. However, here in Davao, that will depend on the arrangements made by the local government.”