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Do Pink Dragonflies Like Drainage Channels?

Yung Shue Long Channel   (Aug 2004)



News about the long-pending drainage channel project from Tai Peng all through the Yung Shue Long (YSL) valley into the harbour:

Due to local protests three years ago it has been scaled back in size to only 150 metres in length, from the bridge at the Refuse Collection Point to the harbour (see maps below). The project will go into the public announcement stage soon, so if you want to lodge objections, you'll get your chance.

Details and maps can be found below.


Lammadonna took me on a spontaneous, unplanned site visit to Sha Po Village on July 2, after I met her by chance over breakfast. Drainage problems are a topic close to her heart as it affects many of her friends & constituents. She's very unhappy about the scaling-back of the YSL valley channel, as she's been fighting for it for many years now. She mentioned that, 3 years ago, the YSL channel project was stopped by "Gwailo environmentalists" who care more about the environment than flooding! She claimed regular flooding in that area, including the bridge; considering the new plan insufficient as it won't prevent flooding in the YSL valley. She says that the current existing channel from the Refuse Collection Point to the harbour is too narrow now, old, crumbling, choked with debris & garbage, not wide and deep enough, and mosquito-infested as well. It would be cheaper to widen the channel than paying external subcontractors to remove vegetation & garbage from the current channel frequently.


I have to acknowledge the need for more drainage channels around Yung Shue Wan in general. Much of Sha Po Village (see left) and the valley beyond it are former swamps which have never been drained comprehensively. The village houses are often surrounded by almost-stagnant, stinking pools of grey water on private land; very fertile and pretty with lots of plants, bushes and palms, but also a paradise for the breeding of mosquitoes and critters of all kinds. Talking to some local, long-time residents during our site visit, their houses get flooded not infrequently. So they had to install flood barriers around their houses which where built almost randomly throughout the valley without planning or concern about drainage or access roads. This is just one of many consequences of the seriously flawed Small Village House policy of the former colonial govt.


Afterwards, I went to visit the beautiful area of the future YSL drainage channel - just behind Main Street (from behind Ah-Hay's/Fountainhead to behind Green Cottage/the Fishermen's Shop). I took some photos of the current channel for reference & archiving, before it'll be turned into another sterile, 2m-wide, "utilitarian" concrete monstrosity, ugly but probably necessary. I was walking along the channel from the Refuse Collection Point back to the harbour. It's not really "open to the public", but who cares? It's such a little-known, pretty area, I think, full of lush vegetation & colourful insects - the highest density of pink dragonflies I've seen on Lamma so far. Check it out before most of it will be gone forever. But the YSL valley channel beyond the bridge has been saved for now....


SAVED CHANNEL: view from bridge at Refuse Collection Point towards YSL valley

Through the palm forest...

...into the YSL valley

"Lotus pond", a few metres beyond the bridge, en route to Tai Peng

A little burbling brook


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