More help for needy families and elderly residents in South West district

Vulnerable families and elderly residents living alone in the South West district are to get more help, activities, and a stronger social safety net.

In the Adopt-A-Precinct project, launched on Sunday by South West Community Development Council (CDC) at Chua Chu Kang Community Club, grassroots leaders in each division help identify needy households in three-room flats who are then offered activities and programmes.

For example, volunteers will befriend senior citizens living on their own and install safety features like grab bars, while adults might get social and employment help and their children get education and enrichment courses like guitar lessons and soccer clinics.

Over the next three years, the Adopt-a-Precinct programme will be rolled out to all 18 divisions in South West CDC, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who is MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC.

The Adopt-a-Precinct project is an extension of an earlier scheme, started in 2007 for rental blocks, which reached out to 2,000 households in 23 rental blocks. A July 2012 Adopt-a-Precinct pilot in Hong Kah North has already reached out to 40 households.

At the launch, a skit by South West CDC and the National Environment Agency, urged residents to do the 'mozzie wipe-out' - empty containers of water, turn pails over, cover bamboo-pole holders and so on. The skit will be performed at schools, in the community and at dengue hotspots.

"We need the community to stay vigilant to prevent mosquito breeding both at home and in the community," Mr Gan said. This year's more than 4,700 dengue cases have surpassed the total number of cases last year.