Tagged: Shui Hau

Shui Hau tops the list as govt hands out $9m for Lantau conservation education

Shui Hau’s rich and fragile ecosystem has attracted the biggest share of funds under the government’s new Lantau environmental education scheme.

Two proposals, from WWF HK and the City University Chemistry Department, have together received HK$2.35 million under the Environmental Education & Community Action Projects funding scheme for Lantau conservation.

WWF Hong Kong received HK$1.59 million for its proposal to “promote preservation of the high ecological value of Shui Hau and to enrich ecological knowledge of intertidal mudflats.” It also proposes the creation of a code of conduct for clam diggers.

The City U team aims to “enhance public’s understanding of the ecological value of Shui Hau and human’s impacts on the ecology (especially Horseshoe Crabs).”

They are among nine projects to have attracted HK$9 million in funds, the government announced yesterday.

Other recipients include The Environmental Association, which received HK$1.56 million to help develop an augmented reality app and panoramic videos, and OIWA (Outlying Islands Women’s Association), which was awarded HK$1.3 million to run conservation education programmes for children and students.

The Environment & Conservation Fund Secretariat says it set up the Lantau fund to support the Sustainable Lantau Blueprint’s vision of balancing development and conservation.

It also earmarked another HK$10 million to education and community action conservation projects for South Lantau.

The full list of funded projects:

Police probe after car strikes three cattle, killing one

Police are investigating an accident at Shui Hau in which a car killed one cow and injured two others yesterday afternoon.

The car, a white Volkswagen Golf,  struck the three cattle on a bend at 5pm.

The driver was a 35-year-old foreign national. Her husband, who asked not to be identified, said his wife was slowing down to park the car when it collided with the cattle.

Post-accident (Source: Reader supplied)

She had come around the bend in Shui Hau village, about 100-150 metres ahead of her turnoff, when she collided with them. As her airbag activated, she was only aware of striking one.

Her husband said in an email:

The facts are that the cow was on the road, and ran in front of my wife. She had no time to avoid it. It fell onto the car, causing heavy damage, but the bumper was not even pushed in or severely damaged – indicating that her forward speed was not that high!

One of the cattle was heavily injured and was put to sleep by AFCD vets at the scene. A second, also seriously injured, was taken away for treatment.

The AFCD and volunteers are continuing their search this morning for the third animal, which sustained a head injury and wandered from the scene. Lantau News has sought a response from the AFCD.

It is the second fatality near Shui Hau within a year. A female cow died when struck by a taxi in a hit-and-run last June.

LBA president Ho Loy said the association had repeatedly asked the Transport Department to install speed cameras on South Lantau Road and Keung Shan Road to enforce the 50kmh speed limit.

Photo (top): Lantau Buffalo Association

(This story has been updated to include comments from the husband of the driver and deleting remarks reported in the SCMP.com attributed to an unnamed eyewitness.)

EPD again unwilling to act as another wetland site is landfilled

A Shui Hau site appears to have become the latest slice of South Lantau wetland to have been illegally landfilled.

Save Lantau Alliance convenor Eddie Tse discovered the landfilled site, about two-thirds between the village and the shore, a week ago.

The Coastal Protection Area (CPA) site is not approved for any development and has received no ‘acknowledgement’ for landfilling from the EPD.

In reply to inquiries, the Planning Department said that the TPB had not received any planning application for the site.

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) said that it received two complaints over landfilling there earlier this month, Commercial Radio reported.

Landfill work last week (Credit: Save Lantau Alliance)

EPD officials have reportedly inspected the location and told Commercial Radio that if there is evidence of a breach of the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO), “the department will certainly take enforcement action.

It has used the same language in the most recent Pui O case, which likewise appears to be a blatant breach of the WDO, a law that allows for waste dumping only with EPD approval.

Despite strong evidence, including video footage of dumping taking place prior to EPD ‘acknowledgement,’ the department has taken no action.

Its passivity flies in the face of the government’s own policies and aspirations. The Sustainable Lantau Blueprint has identified north Lantau as a focus of development and South Lantau for conservation.

Release of the latest South Lantau Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) last week also highlights the government’s inability to conform with its own policies.

The plan has allocated 162 ha in South Lantau for CPA land, which it says it is intended to

“conserve, protect and retain the natural coastlines and the sensitive coastal natural environment, with a minimum of built development. It is also intended to safeguard the beaches and their immediate hinterland, and to prevent haphazard ribbon development along the South Lantau Coast. A long strip of land between the coastline and South Lantau Road stretching from Pui O to Shui Hau and the sandy shore of the gazetted bathing beaches at Pui O, Cheung Sha and Tong Fuk are zoned CPA.”

Despite the name, the CPA carries no enforcement mechanism.

In this latest case the government has shown once again it is unwilling to use the enforcement tools that it has to hand.

Triad squad still probing S. Lantau arson attacks

Police are still investigating the mysterious double arson attacks at Pui O and Shui Hau in August.

Seven weeks after almost identical cases of arson in the two South Lantau villages, no arrests have been made.

Unusually for Lantau, the attacks are being investigated by the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau (OTCB). The squad primarily focuses on Kowloon and the New Territories and rarely takes on any cases in Lantau.

But following the incidents in the early hours of August 24, OCTB officers arrived in Pui O and Shui Hau that morning to take control of the case, suggesting they had information that the attacks were triad-linked.

In both cases, a late model Toyota was backed up to the gate of a home and set alight. The two incidents took place in the two villages, nine kilometres apart, in the space of four minutes.

Police said they found no links between the residents or owners of the two properties and nothing that linked any of them to any criminal activity.


Photo: Aftermath of the Shui Hau arson attack (Oriental Daily)

Volunteers clean up Shui Hau but may need to return

More than 40 volunteers yesterday collected 150 bags of rubbish dumped on Shui Hau mangroves by typhoons three weeks ago.

The slow-moving currents of Shui Hau bay had been unable to wash way the rubbish deposited by typhoons Hato and Pakhar, while hundreds of plastic bags had been caught on mangrove branches.

Organiser Ho Loy, chairman of the Lantau Buffalo Assocation, warns that more cleaning up may be required.

She said that yesterday’s three-hour cleanup removed the plastic bags and general rubbish from just a quarter of the mangroves.

“Don’t rule out a second round of action in the short term,” she said in a Facebook post, warning that two more big winds may be on the way.

Photos: Ho Loy


Police investigate after two vehicles set alight in four minutes

Lantau police are investigating two nearly identical vehicle fires in the space of four minutes in South Lantau early today.

In each case a Toyota seven-seater vehicle was reversed into the front gate of a home and then set alight.

The first took place in San Wai, Pui O, at the front gate of a three-storey home at 2:49am, according to the Oriental Daily.

Apple Daily photo of the Pui O vehicle

The second was at No. 16 Shui Hau at 2:53am, where a vehicle reverse crashed into the gate and then drove forward into a fire hydrant before the occupants fled.

Fire Department officers said both cases were arson and called in the police.

The Shui Hau owner said he did not know why his gate was rammed. Police are viewing his security camera footage.

Police haven’t confirmed whether the two incidents are linked.

Photo (top):  Burned out Shui Hau car (Oriental Daily)

Saving the rhymes of Shui Hau

A team of Hong Kong artists, writers and documentary-makers has mined the rich 300-year-old folk history of Shui Hau for its latest work.

Producer Christopher Law and curator Chloe Lai from Urban Diary  went to the coastal village last year to collect villagers’ stories.  The result is a a documentary and exhibition that will be on display in Shui Hau this weekend.

One revelation is that most of the indigenous villagers speak a Cantonese dialect called Wai Tau.

“I was surprised as I had always thought that it was the language of the indigenous people in Yuen Long. I didn’t expect to be heard on Lantau Island,” Lai told HK01.

They found three older women who speak and sing in Wai Tau and made them the stars of their documentary, Rhymes of Shui Hau. Lai points out that Shui Hau has little written history,  making these women’s memories even more valuable.

Local resident Terry Boyce, who saw the documentary, said on Facebook:

The “stars” of the film are two Shui Hau “grannies” who talk about their childhood experiences living in Shui Hau in the 1920s/30s (one is now 91) and the oral tradition of singing songs in their native Wai Tau dialect. Of particular interest is that one of the “grannies” was born in Shek Pik village (which is now at the bottom of the Shek Pik reservoir). I think it is vitally important to try and preserve these oral histories and this small group of filmmakers are to be applauded for their efforts

The documentary and exhibition premiered in Shui Hau last weekend. They are on again this Saturday and Sunday, along with guided tours around the village and the nearby coastal area.

Police seek blue taxi over Shui Hau hit-and-run

Police suspect a Lantau taxi was involved in a hit-and-run accident at Shui Hau early today that killed a cow.

They are interviewing a cab driver in relation to the incident. They believe the taxi has been taken to a Cheung Sha Wan garage for repair.

They also seek three passengers believed to have taken a cab from Tai O to Tung Chung between 2:00 to 4:00 am today.

A female cow died on the road between Shui Hau and Tong Fuk in the early hours this morning.

Police arriving at the scene at 4:15am found the animal (no 228) had died and the driver had fled. They found fragments of a vehicle indicator light on the road and are calling for public assistance.

It is the second time in less than two weeks that a vehicle has struck a cow at that location, approximately a kilometre west of Tong Fuk.

The Lantau Buffalo Association and members are offering HK$5000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the driver responsible for the death.

They are calling for passengers in the cab, or other witnesses, to come forward.

Anyone with information about the incident can call New Territories South Traffic Investigations Team on 36611300, Lantau traffic police on 36612780 or LBA Hotline on 81036312.

WSD probing cause of burst water main

Water supply in South Lantau has returned to normal after a burst water main left three villages without water for more than a day.

The pipe burst at around 6am Sunday morning, disrupting service to several hundred households in Cheung Sha, Tong Fuk and Shui Hau.

Water Supplies Department dispatched a team to the area and switched off all local water supply at 8amThe team worked through the night to restore the service by 10am today, a spokesperson said.

The initial reports of loss of supply came from Cheung Sha, but the fault was eventually identified near Shui Hau. The cause of the failure is now being investigated, although it may have been an ageing pipe, the spokesperson added.

The department also sent four water wagons and 15 mobile water tanks to provide temporary supply to the villagers.

Fabulous coastal walk

The hike: Shui Hau to Shek Pik

Distance: 6km  Time: 2 to 2 1/2 hours

This lovely and undemanding coastal walk is one of Hong Kong’s most under-rated. It passes a good swimming beach, picnic spots and campsites and offers spectacular views across the South China Sea.

It’s a relatively short walk and can be done either from the Shui Hau or Shek Pik ends. It could complete the day for energetic short-term visitors who have done the temples and stilt houses in Ngong Ping and Tai O in the morning. Continue reading