HK in troubled waters

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 March, 2011, 12:00am

The spotlight has fallen on government officials as some people say they are inefficient and not supervised properly.

Over the past few days, burst water pipes inconvenienced residents in Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Happy Valley. Last week, an old water main in Wong Nai Chung Road, Happy Valley, burst and flooded the area. The Water Supplies Department (WSD) had failed to replace the pipe which was 30 years old.

A lot of water was wasted because it took workers several hours to fix the problem. According to experts, the leak should have been plugged within one to two hours.

Moreover, it is shocking that about 4 million residents were left without water for more than 10 hours. During such an emergency, the WSD could use back-up tanks to provide water to people. This is such a simple solution. Some residents said they could not even contact the WSD to seek more information about the problem.

I hope the government will monitor their staff properly and take immediate action to prevent a repeat of such incidents.

Sherlock Jim, YWCA Hioe Tjo Yoeng College

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Sherlock. While people were certainly inconvenienced by the burst pipe, it was hardly a calamity. Hongkongers were upset about having to go without water for a few hours. Millions of people all over the world go without water for days. Many millions more are unable to reach clean water and rely on dirty sources for their survival.

So what lesson can we take away from this mishap? We don't really want to point fingers at the people who keep our city running so smoothly. Rather, let's use it to remind ourselves how absolutely precious water is. If you are ever unsure about whether or not water is important, try going without it for a day.

Susan, Editor