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Neighbourhood clean-up groups raise awareness about infectious diseases

Update: October, 30/2020 - 08:10

 

Residents in Linh Trung Ward in Thủ Đức District, sweep the street in their neigbourhood. The “5+1” model brings together five neighbouring households as a group to keep the community clean and safe. — VNS Photo Thu Hằng

 Thu Hằng

HCM CITY — Residents in the No 4 quarter in Linh Trung Ward in HCM City’s Thủ Đức District take pride in their community by cleaning up the local environment and recycling products as part of a successful community-based model.

Called the “5+1” model, five neighbouring households work together to sweep residential streets, roadsides and main roads early in the morning every day.

The groups remove litter, rubbish, waste bottles and tires as well as puddles to help keep the streets clean and prevent dengue fever and other infectious diseases.

“I wake up early in the morning and join my neighbours to sweep the streets and sidewalks surrounding our houses. It's an exciting morning execise and neighborhood gathering,” said Nguyễn Thị Ẩn, 80, a permanent resident in Linh Trung Ward.

Ẩn, who has lived in the No. 4 Quarter of Linh Trung Ward since she was a child, is pleased to see the significant changes in the public spaces and landscape.

Previously, it was not uncommon to see people litte on the street, she said, adding that public spaces were filled with dumped rubbish.

 

Nguyễn Thị Ẩn, 80, a permanent resident in Linh Trung Ward in Thủ Đức District, sweeps the street in her neigbourhood. The “5+1” model brings together five neighbouring households as a group to keep the community clean and safe. VNS Photo Thu Hằng

Phùng Thị Ngọc Tuyền, 47, Ẩn’s neighbour, said: “My neighbors wake up around 5:30 am and start sweeping our houses and join groups to clean up surrounding areas. It has become a daily practice.”

“When the district authorities launched environmental clean-up campaigns, most groups volunteered to join,” Tuyền said.

“Crimes involving drugs and thieves in the neighbourhood are also reported immediately to the group leader by its members, resulting in lowering crime rates in the community,” she said.   

Ẩn and Tuyền are members of a neighbourhood clean-up group model that was launched in 2018 by the Thủ Đức District’s Fatherland Front Committee.

Nguyễn Thị Mỹ Lệ, a group leader in the No.4 Quarter, said 18 groups with a total of 117 households in No. 4 Quarter have been set up as part of the “5+1” model to tackle waste dumping and clean up the neigbourhood.

Every Sunday morning, the groups gather to clean up parts of their neighborhood and improve public spaces such as parks, riverbanks, sidewalks and playing fields, as well as vacant lots or abandoned properties, to prevent dengue fever and other infectious diseases.

Group leaders regularly communicate with members of their groups about emptying artificial containers such as broken bottles and flower pots and taking preventive measures against dengue infections.

Printed leaflets on prevention of dengue fever and COVID-19 have been handed out to each household.

More than 1,620 households in six quarters in Linh Trung Ward are members of 252 clean-up groups.

 

Residents in Linh Trung Ward of Thủ Đức District remove broken bottles and flower pots to eliminate dengue larvae. VNS Photo Thu Hằng

 Scalling up

Nguyễn Thị Thanh Luận, deputy chairwoman of Thủ Đức District’s Fatherland Front Committee, said the initiative was piloted in 2018 and was scaled up to 12 wards in the district a year later.

“The model aims to encourage residents to dump rubbish in the right place and sort trash at source, as well as regularly conduct small-scale clean-up campaigns in the district.

“A total of 5,717 groups have been set up across the district, resulting in better environmental clean-up and improvement in public awareness about environmental clean-up and recycling.”

“Regular neighbourhood gartherings and community clean-up activities help strengthen neighborhood ties and build a sense of community,” she said.

The awareness-raising activities also encourage community members to adopt preventive practices against dengue fever and other infectious diseases.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the awareness-raising activities on prevention and control of virus infections have been hailed for their effectiveness by municipal authorities.

Residents also report any risk of COVID-19 infection to the groups so that preventive measures can be taken in a timely manner, Luận said.  

The city’s People’s Committee has told the HCM City chapter of Việt Nam Fatherland Front Committee to replicate the model in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. —VNS

 

Neighbours in Linh Trung Ward in Thủ Đức District discuss preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic. VNS Photo Thu Hằng

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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