Foreign workers do their part in water-saving drive

Foreign workers do their part in water-saving drive

Indian national worker T. Rameshkumar, 31, spends three hours every week speaking to other workers in his dormitory about the importance of saving water. He is among 20 workers at Leo Dormitory in Kaki Bukit who have been selected to share water-saving tips with its 4,300 residents.

The dorm has also installed water-efficient taps, showers and urinals, and energy-efficient appliances, cutting water and electricity usage by a fifth.

So its utility bill per worker has dropped to $32 each month, compared with $40 previously. For its efforts, the dorm received the Water Efficient Building (Basic) certification by national water agency PUB.

Introduced in 2004, the certification programme aims to get businesses to use water-efficient systems. More than 2,600 buildings are part of the programme.

Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Grace Fu said yesterday that Leo Dormitory is the second foreign worker dorm in Singapore to receive the certification. The first was Westlite dorm in Tuas, which got certified last year.

Speaking at the official opening of the new Leo Dormitory, Ms Fu noted that water-efficient measures would help the dorms save water and money.

Leo Dormitory's original complex was torn down and rebuilt, and re-opened in May last year after 17 months of construction, costing operator MES Group $42 million.

MES Group director Shaik Mohamed Abdul Jaleel said over $2.2 million was spent on green features, such as an airy design to cut down on the use of fans, as well as water- and electricity-efficient fittings.

"It is a worthwhile investment. We are spending about 20 per cent less on utilities compared with our three other dorms, which do not have these green features," he said.

He added that the cost savings are also possible because workers do their part.

Said Mr Rameshkumar, who is a maintenance technician: "In India, many people don't use taps often. Now that they are in Singapore, workers need to be reminded that they should not keep the taps running."

This article was first published on April 6, 2015.
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