Estero de Magdalena canal is choked with trash (Photo: AFP)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippine authorities periodically collect rubbish from the trash-choked Estero de Magdalena canal, which runs into Manila’s most important and heavily polluted waterway, the Pasig River.

This is of little consolation to the impoverished families who live in homes along the canal, cobbled together from pallets, scraps of wood and corrugated steel stained with rust.

The blanket of trash on the creek flowing between the makeshift homes of Manila is extremely dense. It seems one could walk across the canal like a street. The thick and fetid mosaic of plastic bottles, takeaway containers and plastic bags is a porous layer atop the filthy water of Estero de Magdalena.

Local authorities blame the slum residents for using the creek as an open-air dump and installed massive strainers in the water to stop the trash from flowing downstream.

This attempt to stop rubbish flowing into the East Sea or being sucked back by tides into Laguna de Bay (the country’s biggest lake) has been unsuccessful.

Authorities said the trash-choked creek is a breeding ground for illnesses like cholera and typhoid fever.-VNA