Thursday, December 27, 2007

Floods in Malaysia. Save trees. Trees save

Floods hit Malaysia very hard this time, and it is no great surprise. This widely distributed and very meaningful photo will tell the story very eloquently:

Save our forest. Prevent floods and save lives

Included in the forwarded message was another very meaningful "Save trees. Trees save". the photo and the 2 short sentences tells why Malaysia is facing such a terrible situation. Many people have to be evacuated, homes damaged, even destroyed. Lives lost. Why? Malaysia had not been able to control logging and deforestation very well. Result is a large tract of Malaysia's forest had been destroyed.

Now tree cover is very important. They act like a sponge in the event of heavy rainfall. The rain drops get caught in the foliage (leaves) and only slowly drips down to the forest floor. Some water seeps into the ground and some ended up as surface runoff that eventually ends up in the rivers. Main point is that the surface runoff is much reduced leading to only a small increase in the river flow.

Chop down the trees and you exposed the ground to the heavy rainfall. It does not have time to seep into the ground, so most of it ends up as surface runoff, and these ends up in the rivers. Result. Huge surge in river flow. Floods downstream. People displaced. Lives lost.

That little boy is lucky because there is still a lonely tree left he can climb up to to save himself from drowning. How many are so "lucky"?

Let us save trees. They save people's homes, lives, great inconveniences.

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