Parents are being advised to take extra care when visiting DB’s beaches with their children as large amounts of medical waste, including syringes, continue to wash ashore.
The problem first came to light last month, when DB resident Moran Zukerman reported finding numerous samples of both human and veterinary waste on Sam Pak Wan near the North Plaza.
Concerned for the local community, Moran heads to the beach nearly every day to collect the items that have washed up. He told Around DB that he always finds worrying items on the beach, but his haul last Friday shocked even him, as he collected 53 syringes in just one hour. “53 was a pretty big scare for me,” he said. “It was the largest amount of syringes I had found in one day.”
One of the most concerning issues for Moran is that many people don’t realise there is a problem. “Yesterday at Sam Pak Wan, there were two young girls who were barefoot. I approached [their aunty] and showed her the syringes I had found. She was very shocked and immediately asked the girls to put their shoes on.”
Moran now wants to raise awareness among parents and domestic helpers to help keep DB’s children safe and is calling on parents to make sure that their helpers know about the issue. “It’s very important to make all those caring for children aware,” he said.
He also wants the government to place a sign on the beach advising people not to go barefoot, pointing out that the beach attracts a number of tourists who would have no knowledge of the risks. The sign, he suggests, should advise members of the public that there are sharp items on the beach and that it is advisable to wear shoes.
Last month, Moran, along with Southern District Councillor Paul Zimmerman and his team, delivered a number of samples that had been collected to the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) for analysis. They hope that, if the source and contents of the waste can be identified, steps can be taken to address the issue. The EPD has not yet responded with their findings.
Image: Syringes, some with needles, that were found washed up at Sam Pak Wan