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Dear Friends,

It was regrettable that Waterways Watch lost its NDP Safety Boat contract to an NSA (Dragon Boat Association).  We had counted on this contract for our five boats with Life Guards and Drivers rostered for this traditional annual event but unfortunately we were not awarded the tender this year.   As a non-profit NGO, it will have a material impact on our finances during this pandemic.

Nevertheless, we continue with our mission. The week was filled with a few VIA activities for SUSS. We gave a Virtual Assembly Talk for 70 students from ASEAN countries on Thursday first. On Friday, 24 local students came down to our Kallang HQ for Kayak Cleanup and 5 pax did a foot clean up at Kallang Riverside Park. The other 40 students were in their own countries and did a Virtual Marina Learning Journey (see photos). Unfortunately, another Kayak programme on Saturday was cancelled due to concerns about COVID-19 social distancing and limited numbers.

As the national day is around the corner, Punggol and Kallang Office have also put up all national day decorations (see photos). On Thursday, admin staff did a refreshment training at Punggol to prepare for any programme in the future (see photo). Admin staff noticed algae blooms happened near the WWS office and at the end of Serangoon Reservoir (see photos).

Weekday patrol at Punggol was done by 5 members. The Punggol Waterway Park was quiet and clean with few people around. The boat patrol group only picked up about 1kg of plastic waste from water (see photos).

On Saturday morning, a total of 18 members turned up at Kallang for patrol duty. There was a group of 5 that did bike patrol, two groups of 3 did boat patrol, 3 members did gardening, 2 kayakers paired up for kayak patrol and 2 more staff did admin support (see photos). The bike patrol found plenty of empty cans along the embankment in front of Flyer. They collected a total of 3kg of litter and 10 masks. On their way back, they saw a group of 6 releasing live fishes into the reservoir near the mouth of Rochor River. Members stopped them from releasing the fishes and explained to them that is not allowed, they complied (see photos). The two groups of boat patrol collected 15kg of litter and 3 masks in total. They found many tennis balls and plastic bottles and the major hotspot was between the Civilisation Museum and Clark Quay. The two kayakers removed 73kg of litter from Kallang Basin in 3.5 hours, including 18 masks, straws, plastic bags and bottles, cans, packaging materials and styrofoam boxes (see photos). The trash load from Kallang River was high and piled up at many places around Kallang Basin. In total the Saturday patrol groups at Kallang collected 91kg of litter and 31 masks. 

On Saturday afternoon, 3 members did a boat patrol and 4 members did a bike patrol at Punggol Waterways (see photos). The park and the waterways were generally clean and the total litter collected by both groups was 4.5 kg plus 3 masks. However, many other faults were observed around the park by patrol members. Many shared bikes were left and parked at non-designated parking lots.  Manmade shortcut footpaths were found next to lamp post E7-3/W-219 and between Punggol Way and block 316A, causing soil erosion to the main footpath (see photos). Pigeons are roosting and dropping under the Punggol Bridge. And the missing and damaged life buoy on the boardwalk still had not been replaced (see photos).

The Sunday volunteering group at Kallang HQ was small (9 pax including admin) last week. Only 4 members came to do a bike patrol, 2 members did a boat patrol, and another 2 members did boat training (see photos). The bike patrol went to Geylang Bahru and Kallang Bahru areas. The bike patrol group observed litter accumulated at corners along Kallang River, due to the heavy rain on Saturday (see photos). Behind Kallang MRT, dustbins were full and many cans were thrown around the dustbin (see photos). In total, the bike patrol group picked up 3.5 kg of litter and 8 masks. The boat patrol group picked up only 2kg of litter plus two chairs and one big basket in front of the Lim Kim Hai Building (see photos). It seems that the chairs and the basket were abandoned by illegal fishermen.

In the afternoon, a total of 11 members turned up at Jurong Lakeside Garden for patrol duties. They did two groups of bike patrol (3pax and 4 pax) and one group of boat patrol (4 pax) (see photos). The Jurong Lake water was basically quite clean, the boat patrol group only picked up a few plastic bags and one pair of long pants (see photos). The park area was also quite clean last week. The bike patrol groups found not much litter along the water bank and the Rasau Walk. Near the Water Lily Pond, one of the plastic caps covering two pipes was found broken. The bike patrol groups picked up 8.5kg of litter in total, which more than 90% was plastic items, and 7 used masks. They disposed of all collected litter at the dustbin near the WWS office. The dustbin was full again. Maybe NPark should place an additional dustbin or replace it with a bigger one (see photos). In total, the boat patrol at Jurong picked up 3kg of litter from water and the bike patrol groups picked up 8.5 kg of litter plus 7 masks from the park area. 

Total Masks picked up was 50 this week!! Shameful!!

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