Appendix 1: Tai Peng New Village Case Study
Objective: To clean up the entranceway to Tai Peng New Village.
In October 2010, after failing to get government to move to clean up many of the areas highlighted in our Stop the Mess report, we started an experiment. We chose a small area as a test case. The entrance to Tai Peng New Village had become derelict. The archway was falling down and government would not spend money to repair it. Vines were strangling the plants and trees and there was a lot of rubbish being dumped next to the bins.
On 13 October 2010, at Living Lamma’s invitation, representatives from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, Lands Department, Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Liaison Officer from District Officer to come to see the problems. Following their visit, the Lands Department took some measures to remove some vines and construction waste. The clean up lasted only a few days before someone dumped more waste.
We decided to see what we could do for ourselves.
A year later and still no action from government that could achieve a permanent enhancement, we organized our own clean up with around 12 people. To encourage people to keep the area tidy, we started to put in a few plants in the area next to the bins. We reported our experiment to the FEHD. From the moment we put the plants in until the beginning of February, the area next to the bin remained free of rubbish.
On 7th February, workers acting for the owner of the property adjacent to the village entrance began placed building materials on top of them as they constructed a ramp to reach the roof of the property. Though we tried to request that they respect the area, they did not, even pouring concrete onto the soil. We immediately removed the plants and reported our actions to the Lands Department and FEHD.
Subsequently, on 23rd February, the property owner made a complaint to the Lands Department about illegal cultivation of government land. A Lands Department inspector visited the site and could find no cultivation, but did not enquire about the piles of construction materials and ramp, which now lines the entranceway to Tai Peng New Village. The Lands Department explained that they only act on complaint. As a matter of policy, Living Lamma would not involve itself in complaints against individuals, however warranted and so the area remains despoiled by building material long after the works have been completed.
Before the clean up by volunteers
After planting – Max (aged 5) showed his friends at school
The Same Area Occupied by Building Materials since February 2012
As part of the beautification of the area, Living Lamma also organised the renovation of the “pailau”, paid for by the villagers
Before and after shots – the Lands Department wanted to demolish it –
no maintenance budget!