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Grave sweepers urged to keep environment clean during Chung Yeung Festival
     The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (October 13) urged people visiting cemeteries and columbaria to pay respects to ancestors during the coming Chung Yeung Festival to keep the environment clean and dispose of used containers properly to prevent mosquito breeding.

     An FEHD spokesman said the department will provide special cleaning services at public cemeteries and columbaria during the festival period.

     "Our staff will clear undergrowth, remove stagnant water in incense burners and containers, and level the ground surface to prevent accumulation of water. We will also deploy more staff to remove rubbish, empty bottles and containers, while providing additional litter bins and toilet facilities," he said.

     The spokesman urged the public to co-operate by clearing stagnant water and rubbish before leaving to prevent mosquito breeding. Containers such as lunch boxes, drink cans, plastic bags and buckets for burning incense should also be removed.

     "As a precaution against mosquitoes, grave sweepers are advised to wear long-sleeved tops and trousers and apply insect repellent to exposed parts of their body," he said.

     In addition to anti-mosquito announcements, notices and banners appealing for public co-operation will be displayed at public cemeteries and columbaria during the festival. Managers of private cemeteries have also been advised to take similar anti-mosquito precautions.

     To protect the environment and to prevent hill fires, the spokesman encouraged members of the public to use flowers to replace incense burning to pay tribute and respects to their ancestors. For those who have created a memorial webpage using the Internet Memorial Service (www.memorial.gov.hk) provided by the FEHD, they can pay tribute to their beloved online anywhere and anytime. Family members and friends can also share memories and experiences through the webpage.

     In addition, the spokesman also urged grave sweepers to take extra care when burning incense. Incense burning should only be carried out inside a designated joss paper furnace or iron bucket. People should make sure that all fires have gone out before leaving.

     Staff of the department will step up patrols at public cemeteries and columbaria during the period. In the event of a hill fire, grave sweepers should remain calm and immediately notify officers on-site.

     The spokesman also appealed to grave sweepers to make maximum use of public transport during the Chung Yeung Festival. Access to Cape Collinson Crematorium, Diamond Hill Crematorium, Fu Shan Crematorium, Kwai Chung Crematorium, Wo Hop Shek Crematorium and Wo Hop Shek Cemetery will be closed to all vehicles while the special traffic and transport arrangements are in operation, except those with special permission.

     For details of the special traffic and transport arrangements in the vicinity of cemeteries and crematoria during the Chung Yeung Festival, please visit the Transport Department website (www.td.gov.hk).
Ends/Friday, October 13, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:00
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