The Community Cleanliness Day was launched today (November 20) with the theme of "Raise hygiene awareness, guard against influenza", marking the commencement of a three-month community cleaning and hygiene education programme. Over 9,000 people participated in some 30 territory-wide cleaning activities today.
"Public participation is the key to guarding against a pandemic of influenza, " the Permanent Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food, Mrs Carrie Yau, said at a cleansing activity in the Kowloon City district.
The aim of organising the territory-wide Community Cleanliness Day is to raise public awareness of the importance of keeping their environment clean and observing good personal hygiene, Mrs Yau added. She appealed to the whole community to attach importance to personal hygiene and health, and to guard against influenza with the Government.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Pamela Tan, said that over 230 community cleansing and hygiene programmes, including health seminars, roving exhibitions, bus parades, home cleaning for the elderly, cleaning slogan and poster contests, will be organised in the 18 districts in the coming three months. More than 80,000 people are expected to take part in these activities
To tie in with the Community Cleanliness Campaign, relevant government departments have also organised a variety of activities. The Housing Department would continue to hold the Operation Tai Ping Tei at public housing estates while the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department would step up inspections in the markets to ensure operators of live poultry retail outlets comply with hygiene requirements. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department would start special cleaning operations in the parks and disseminate messages appealing to tourists not to feed wild birds.
Mrs Tan said that the clearance of hygiene black spots had been launched in three phases over the past two years. "With the co-operation of the community, we have identified over 260 hygiene black spots in the 18 districts across the territory that need priority cleansing. All of these cleansing operations have been supervised by the district offices. "
"A total of 85 hygiene black spots were completed in the first phase. The second phase saw the clearance of 88 out of 90 hygiene black spots. And 73 out of 87 hygiene black spots, totaling about 84 per cent of the black spots, have been cleared in the third phase, which is expected to be completed early next year."
"That is, however, not the end of our job. The district offices will continue to work with the community to identify other hygiene black spots that need to be cleared to further improve environmental hygiene." she said.
Mrs Tan is grateful for the concerted effort of the community and hopes that members of the public will continue to give their support for building a cleaner and more hygienic Hong Kong.
End/Sunday, November 20, 2005.
Issued at HKT 19:32