A passionate water-saving advocate
16 November 2009 2 comments
Once a week without fail, residents of Punggol South estate spot the same man giving out flyers to passers-by. What was he selling, some might wonder. Certainly nothing ordinary. The idea that Mr Frederick Yeo Lye Hock, PBM, 52, is selling is how to conserve and protect our water resources. As a testament to his passion, Frederick was awarded the Public Utilities Board’s (PUB) Watermark Award this year for his efforts to promote water conservation.
For the past six years, Frederick, an Associate Consultant at National Computer Singapore Pte Ltd, has been telling residents about water conservation. Frederick revealed the motivation behind his cause, “Growing up along Sungei Serangoon where I spent most of my childhood and seeing it grow from a small river to the reservoir it is today, I feel a need to protect it.” Protect it, he did.
In October 2003, Frederick rallied like-minded individuals to form the Punggol South River Watch Group to patrol the waterways and fish out flotsam. In 2005, he led the River Watch Group to adopt Sungei Serangoon under the PUB’s Our Waters Programme to take ownership and be guardians of the river. To sustain the long term cleanliness of the river, Frederick helped form anti-littering teams to conduct patrols and spread anti-littering messages among residents in the area. For all his efforts, Frederick could proudly say with a wide smile, “The river is now cleaner than before and residents are more aware of the need to protect the river.”
Besides caring for the river, Frederick avidly shares water conservation tips with residents. A member of PUB’s Water Volunteer Group since 2006, he goes door-to-door to talk to families and even offers to install water-saving devices. During community events, he also jumps at the chance to share how important water is and what people can do to play their part. Frederick shared, “Some people (when approached for the first time) may not be so receptive but when more people know about it (water-saving techniques) and talk among their friends about how they can save money and the environment, everyone is more open to it… I will keep trying. I want to spread the save water message to as many people as I can.” To deepen engagement with residents, he also organises activities to interest them on water issues including arranging for visits to the NEWater Visitor Centre.
His work does not end here. Frederick who is an active grassroots leader at Punggol South Division plans to work with schools to teach students how important water is and how everyone can do something to help save water.