Radiation leak in Japan poses threats to water resources UNICEF Young Envoys Club “flashes” to call for a water saving lifestyle


Radiation leak in Japan poses threats to water resources UNICEF Young Envoys Club “flashes” to call for a water saving lifestyle


HONG KONG, 21 March 2011 – “You have a choice. It doesn’t mean others do, too!” Water safety has become ever so concerning since the fear of radiation leak loomed over Japan and its neighboring regions following the devastating double catastrophe of earthquake and tsunami. As tomorrow, 22 March, is the United Nations (UN) designated World Water Day, a group of post-90’s initiated a “Splash” Mob Campaign in the heart of the busy Causeway Bay.

Through their performance of flash mob and still acting, they hope to call for public awareness of water safety and supply for children in Japan and developing countries, advocate a water saving lifestyle and raise public concern about the uneven distribution of water resources.

According to the official website of the UN World Water Day, “Investments in infrastructure have not kept up with the rate of urbanisation, while water and waste services show significant underinvestment. The central problem is therefore the management of urban water and waste. Piped water coverage is declining in many settings, and the poor people get the worst services, yet paying the highest water prices.”

To display the 2 radically different lives in front of Hong Kong public, the Green Division of UNICEF Young Envoys Club perform a Flash Mob act combined with still acting elements at their Splash Mob Campaign held yesterday afternoon on Pedestrian Street in Causeway Bay. One of the planners and a form 5 student, Alvin Au, said, The nuclear crisis in Japan has recently raised Hong Kongers concerns over water safety. But actually many children in developing countries are daily drinking unsafe water and facing the problem of lack of water!

To flash, it symbolises how fast water slips by and we dont even realise how much we are wasting. On average, each person in Hong Kong uses 220 litres of water every day while it only needs 20 litres a day for children in the developing world to survive. We want to help Hong Kong people realise how lucky we are and help them reflect on their habits of water consumption through our act of displaying the 2 kinds of lives at the extreme ends. I hope they will not take safe and clean water for granted and start treasuring each drop of clean drinking water, which will go to waste if we dont take it to heart.

Another planner, Harrison Chung pointed out, Weve to bear in mind that water scarcity is no longer the major concern but uneven distribution of water resources in result of the rapid urbanisation of the world’s population while 93% of the urbanisation occurs in poor or developing countries.” He also encourages us all to bear the responsibilities of a world citizen and lead a water saving life. Here are some water saving tips he suggested:
  1. Putting a plastic bottle filled with pebbles into the flush water tank can reduce water usage every time you flush the toilet. It is especially effective in areas which use fresh water to flush.
  2. Say “no” to glasses of water at restaurants if you don’t need them.
  3. Save the clean water of your shower or tap with a bucket as you adjust the temperature.
  4. Suggest children to go to the beach instead of playing with tap water.

It is estimated that around 2.5 billion people worldwide lack improved sanitation facilities and over 884 million people still use unsafe drinking water sources.UNICEF has been working in 150 developing counties and territories to implement programmes and advocate the importance of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), which include improving water supplies and sanitation facilities in partnership with local communities, promoting safe hygiene practices, such as wash hands with soap, in schools and communities and so on. All UNICEF WASH programmes are designed to contribute to the Millennium Development Goal for water and sanitation: to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe water and basic sanitation, safeguarding children’s rights to survival and development.