>> It was an emotional homecoming for Marawi's residents. It's the first time they've seen their homes since fighting erupted between Philippine government troops and pro-Islamic State fighters last May. Locals like Hanema Dankal came back last week to dig through the rubble and save whatever precious items remained. Dunkal who used to have a small shop selling cakes and cellphone accessories had little to go back to, other than scrap metal.
> I hope we will have a house again, get a new livelihood, because my children are in school, but they won't be able to study because we don't have jobs anymore, no home, nothing.>> Reuters Karen Lima is in Marawi.>> A lot of them arrived in jeepneys, pickups, and small trucks hoping to salvage many of their belongings which they left, after they hurriedly fled the city almost a year ago.
Many of the people we've spoken with, broke down into tears after seeing the scale of the devastation and after realizing they have no more homes to come back to.>> The areas was off limits for locals until this month when the military cleared it of booby traps and unexploded ordinances.
Over 350,000 residents were displaced after hundreds of Islamic insurgents took parts of the city last year. The militants had hoped to establish a stronghold for Islamic State in Southeast Asia. Although the military successfully ousted the Islamic State loyalists after a five-month battle, Marawi still isn't entirely safe, so the residents return is only temporary.
Most buildings are in ruins, and there is no food, electricity, or any sewage facility. Residents say they are pinning their hopes on President Rodrigo Duterte's promised to rebuild the city. Rehabilitation work is scheduled to start in June, but given the extent of damage, it could take years to reconstruct the ones picture as Lakeside city.