Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ11: Anti-mosquito work

     Following is a question by the Hon Leung Kwok-hung and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, in the Legislative Council today (June 10)


     Quite a number of residents in Ma On Shan (including Wu Kai Sha) have complained to me about the serious mosquito problem in the district.  Besides, in recent years, a large number of Mainland tourists have stayed in the Wu Kwai Sha Youth Village, and there have been very serious garbage problems in the nearby area from To Tau beach to Wu Kai Sha beach.  Some members of the public have repeatedly lodged complaints through the 1823 Call Centre or with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD), but FEHD has not deployed staff to follow up the cases.  Some residents have created a group called "Friends of Ma On Shan" on Facebook and invited dozens of residents to clear the litter on those beaches on holidays. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) whether the Government carried out, in the past six months, anti-mosquito operations in the following areas in the Ma On Shan district:

(i) the public area from Kam Tai Court to Oceanaire;
(ii) the public area along Chevalier Garden and the hillside nearby;
(iii) the public area along Kam Ying Court and the hillside nearby;
(iv) the public area from Ma On Shan Tsuen to Ma On Shan Country Park and the hillside nearby;
(v) the public area from the Youth Village to To Tau Village and the seashore nearby; and
(vi) the public area from Lee On Estate to To Tau Village and the hillside and seashore nearby;

     if it did, of the respective numbers of such operations and whether it has reviewed the effectiveness of the operations; if it did not, when it will do so;

(2) whether it will carry out more anti-mosquito operations in Ma On Shan in the coming three months; if it will, of the number of operations to be carried out each week; if not, the reasons for that;

(3) whether, in the past five years, it issued warnings and fixed penalty notices to members of the public or tourists for littering in the area from To Tau Village beach to Wu Kai Sha beach; if it did, of the respective numbers; if not, the reasons for that;

(4) whether, in the past five years, it deployed staff to inspect the environmental hygiene conditions in the area from To Tau Village beach to Wu Kai Sha beach; if it did, of the number of inspections conducted each week and the average duration of inspection each time; if not, the reasons for that and whether it will immediately deploy staff to inspect the environmental hygiene conditions of the area each day, institute prosecution against offenders, and deploy staff to clear the litter; if it will, when it will do so; if not, the reasons for that; and

(5) given that the local residents have to clear the litter in the area from To Tau Village beach to Wu Kai Sha beach themselves during holidays because of the poor environmental hygiene conditions there, whether the Government will apologise to them; if it will, when it will apologise; if not, of the reasons for that and how it manifests the Government's public accountability?



     The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) has been coordinating inter-departmental anti-mosquito initiatives, maintaining close liaison with the relevant government departments and providing them with technical support to facilitate effective implementation of anti-mosquito measures within their respective purviews. FEHD is also responsible for cleaning some beaches and coastal areas. It participates in the joint operations coordinated by the relevant government departments (such as the Marine Department, Environmental Protection Department (EPD), Leisure and Cultural Services Department, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department) to monitor the conditions at beaches and coastal areas and clean up the litter washed ashore.

     My reply to the various parts of the question is as follows:

(1) FEHD attaches great importance to the problem of mosquito infestation in Ma On Shan.  The Area Ovitrap Index of Ma On Shan reached 41.4 per cent in July 2014, the second highest in the year.  

     In view of this, FEHD has stepped up its anti-mosquito efforts in Ma On Shan (including the public areas mentioned in the question). These include a series of field investigation between March and May 2015; over 30 operations against mosquito infestation in the past six months which involve inspections, removing stagnant water and roadside weeds, and applying larvicides to manholes, gullies and nullahs; and space spraying of pesticide against adult mosquitoes at heavily wooded hillsides where necessary. Inspections are also conducted in the public areas outside private residence/land in Ma On Shan at least once a week.  These efforts have been sustained throughout the winter of 2014.  

     For the purpose of putting the effectiveness of the anti-mosquito work under close monitoring as well as strengthening inter-departmental co-operation, FEHD convened meetings with the Sha Tin task force on anti-mosquito work in February, March and May this year. Through the meetings, FEHD took stock of the conditions at Tai Wai, Yuen Chau Kok and Ma On Shan and reviewed the effectiveness of the mosquito control work being conducted by the respective departments in places under their purview.  Through the task force, FEHD called upon the respective departments as well as the management of schools to step up and fortify our anti-mosquito work.

     In gearing up for the upcoming rainy season, the relevant government departments have carried out, since early May, two rounds of intensive mosquito preventive and control exercises across the territory (including Ma On Shan) covering areas under their purview. Through the joint operations, the departments took actions to kill adult mosquitoes and remove stagnant water and weeds in the interest of eliminating potential mosquito breeding grounds. By virtue of these intensive anti-mosquito exercises, we hope that mosquitoes of a whole generation, including those infected with the dengue fever virus, would be eliminated.

(2) Effective mosquito control requires sustained efforts on the part of all parties concerned.  In this regard, FEHD launched a new round of anti-mosquito campaign in early 2015 in collaboration with other relevant government departments.  To keep up the momentum, the campaign is to be conducted in phases with the slogan of "Prevent Japanese Encephalitis and Dengue Fever, Act Now!". Phase 2 of the campaign commenced on April 27, 2015 and will end on July 3, 2015, while Phase 3 is to be conducted from August 17 to October 9, 2015.

     FEHD's pest control officers will step up inspection, preventive and control actions as well as publicity work during the campaign. Breeding places of mosquitoes will be eliminated or treated with larvicides.  Potential breeding grounds and trouble spots identified by district pest control officers (including those places near the hillside and seaside as mentioned in the question) will also be covered.

     Acting on the first local case of dengue fever which came to light in early June this year, FEHD has strengthened the mosquito preventive and control work in areas within 500 metres from the residence of the patient in Tai Wai, Sha Tin, his workplace and places he visited during the incubation period.  FEHD has also collected samples of Aedes albopictus from the relevant areas for laboratory testing to ascertain whether they carry any virus, with a view to eliminating the risk of dengue fever infection at source.

     Where breeding of mosquito larvae is found, FEHD will initiate prosecution against the relevant parties or organisations, including the contractor of building maintenance site in the relevant housing estate and the estate management company.  

(3) to (5) To Tau Village beach and Wu Kai Sha beach are ungazetted beaches.  FEHD officers and the departmentˇ¦s cleansing contractors are responsible for cleansing work at these beaches and the coastal areas nearby.  Depending on the prevailing circumstances, the frequency of our cleansing operation ranges from once to five times per week.

     At present, FEHD conducts inspections to the area from To Tau Village beach to Wu Kai Sha beach once every two weeks.  Since 2010, the department has received five complaints regarding the environmental hygiene conditions of the area and issued two fixed penalty notices against offences of depositing waste in public places.  FEHD will continue to inspect the aforesaid coastal area and take actions to properly clean up the litter in the area.  Where the situation so warrants, FEHD will enhance inspections and prosecutions against offenders as well as arrange additional cleansing operations.

     In our view, a more effective way to keep the shorelines clean lies in putting emphasis on education and publicity to help members of the public understand the importance of environmental protection and ensuring compliance with the relevant legislation, thereby keeping Hong Kong clean through the concerted efforts of everybody.  To put the messages across, the Working Group on Clean Shorelines organises Shorelines Cleanup Days at various locations, and invites different organisations to be the co-organisers on each occasion.  Since 2014, a total of 11 organisations have participated in cleaning up the above beaches and the coastal areas nearby during weekends, demonstrating their support for protecting the marine environment through collective actions. Sheung Shui Government Secondary School will join hands with EPD to conduct beach cleaning activities in Wu Kai Sha on July 26, 2015.

Ends/Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Issued at HKT 17:49


Print this page