Safeguarding our Heritage: A Clean Victoria Harbour
Victoria Harbour is the life source of Hong Kong. As we all know, Victoria
Harbour acts as an important transit-hub for the shipping industry of Hong Kong since
hundreds of years ago. Its unbreakable relationship with Hong Kong is very close and cannot
be described in just a few words.
With the existence of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong which was a small fishing
village became an entreport due to the deepness and the large size of Victoria Harbour,
making ships easy to travel. Navy ships of the United States and other nations pass by Hong
Kong by going through the Victoria Harbour thus, Hong Kong can provide a good vacation
destination for soldiers and sailors as it provides ration, food and fresh water for these people.
Moreover, Victoria Harbour is situated in an ideal location where east meets west for ships to
go in and out freely. World shipping routes pass nearby Hong Kong which makes Victoria
Harbour important for the trading industry in Hong Kong. Later on, Hong Kong became an
industrial centre due to the rapid growth of the trading industry and now, with the
advancement of information technology, Hong Kong has become an international financial
centre. Without this harbour, Hong Kong’s political and economical development would not
have grown so fast in only about a hundred years and would not be as prosperous as it is now
because Hong Kong’s past and future all lies in the Victoria Harbour.
With the improvement of the living standard of Hong Kong people and the
constantly increasing population, the government has been forced to reclaim a lot of land for
more residential and commercial purposes. With the increasing rate of reclamation, the size
of Victoria Harbour is decreasing greatly. It is not as wide or deep as it was before and is no
longer a fragrant harbour like it once was. It is believed that sooner or later, every part of our
precious Victoria Harbour would be reclaimed.
Although the government finds it necessary to reclaim land, some people are
strictly against this idea. Victoria Harbour has been so important and vital to Hong Kong
over the past years, it is not surprising that some people would object the reclamation of
Victoria Harbour. These people have the same goal as we do in protecting our harbour.
However, there are still people who agree with such development. These people do not
believe that Hong Kong should dwell in the past and waste its resources to protect its
heritage. Instead, they think that Hong Kong should develop as much land as possible to
build up commercial and financial areas in order to prosper. Yet, as we look into it, we can
still find people who do not bother to concern themselves with this issue. These people do
not seem to care about Hong Kong’s heritage and future.
Besides reclamation, the Victoria Harbour is becoming more and more
polluted because of ignorant people who litter. This leads to a terrible smell and the rubbish
makes the ships difficult to travel through the harbour. Tourists would be disgusted by all the
litter and the bad smell of it. Even local transport like the Star Ferry would be affected.
Therefore, people should be encouraged to realize the seriousness of pollution, reclamation
and the importance of safeguarding our heritage. In order to do this, more activities should be
held. For example, a poster design competition on “Protecting the Victoria Harbour” can be
organized in order to arouse the people’s awareness. An exhibition on the brief history of
Hong Kong, related to Victoria Harbour can be held. A quiz on all the factors related to
Victoria Harbour can be opened to Hong Kong citizens. A one-day boat ride around the
Victoria Harbour or a “Clean Victoria Harbour Day” can be organized. There can be a
competition in collecting rubbish from the harbour. The group with the most rubbish
collected can be awarded. This can increase the people’s incentive in protecting and cleaning
All these can enrich people’s knowledge about the Victoria Harbour and make
them realize its importance so that they can be encouraged in keeping the harbour clean.
The government should also think of other ways in developing Hong Kong
and not just reclaim more land from the harbour. I believe that reclamation is not the only
way leading to prosperity. What is more is that there is still sufficient land in the New
Territories and Lantau Island. Instead of decreasing the size of Victoria Harbour to reclaim
more land, areas in the northern part of Hong Kong can be developed. The government
should also emphasize on the seriousness of pollution in Victoria Harbour and educate the
young to keep our harbour clean. The government can also minimize the number of ships
traveling across the harbour or control the amount of sewage dumped into the harbour in
order to reduce water pollution caused. Also people should not only be penalized a fine if
they litter because some rich people do not tend to care at all. Punishments like collecting
rubbish from the Victoria Harbour for a day can be made. This can give people a lesson and
let them know that even if they have money, they cannot just litter whenever and wherever
they want. They can also experience the difficult work of those who have to clean up the
garbage thrown into the sea every day.
Since Victoria Harbour is so important to Hong Kong, it is necessary that we should all try
our best to keep it clean so that it can stay in a good condition. If reclamation or water
pollution is continued, the beautiful view of the Victoria Harbour would no longer exist.
Therefore reclamation and pollution should be stopped immediately. However, this cannot be
done without the cooperation of every person in Hong Kong. If every one puts a little effort,
our aim can be achieved. I believe that it is the responsibility of every one of us to safeguard
our heritage, the Victoria Harbour.
By: Chan Lee Ting Cecilia
St. Paul’s Convent School