Cleanliness is a 'group effort'

WATER GUARDIAN: Mr Low Joo Kek joins volunteers on weekends to patrol Singapore's waterways.


    Jun 26, 2013

    Cleanliness is a 'group effort'

    DURING the work week, he is an operations manager at an aviation firm. But on weekends, you can find Mr Low Joo Kek, 56, at Singapore's various water bodies.

    Mr Low is part of the Waterways Watch Society (WWS), a volunteer group that aims to bring people together to monitor, restore and protect Singapore's waterways.

    His weekends are devoted to WWS duties such as bicycle patrols at places like the Singapore River.

    He said that the WWS carries out the patrols to give national agencies "an extra pair of eyes" in looking after the environment.

    The WWS provides the National Environment Agency (NEA) with feedback if it notices that certain areas are not clean.

    When asked if rules and regulations about littering in Singapore are enough to deter people, Mr Low said that "people are actually careful to not litter".

    But he added that people "have the misconception that littering occurs only when people throw rubbish on the floor. They don't think of leaving rubbish behind when they leave a place as littering".

    He encouraged people to leave a place cleaner than when they found it, and said that everyone has a stake in keeping the environment clean.

    Mr Low, who lives in Sengkang, said he often tells residents there that if they take good care of the waterways around the estate, not only will they be able to enjoy a cleaner environment, but the value of their homes will also stay high.

    He added that the next generation would suffer if we damage our environment.

    "Hopefully, one day, I'll be able to see Singapore meet the Korean or Japanese standard (of cleanliness). They keep places clean and know how to take care of their environment."

    He added that Singapore still has "a long way to go", but pointed out that it is an achievable goal.

    He believes that keeping Singapore clean is "not an individual responsibility, but a group effort".