Deforestation and flash floods: How they are all connected

Deforestation in Bidadari and Lorong Ah Soo may have contributed to the flash floods in the surroundings during an intense storm on 2 November 2020.

It is believed that due to climate change, more extreme weather changes can be expected.

Yesterday, flash floods occurred in several places in Singapore during such a heavy downpour.

Although floods aren’t new occurrences in low-lying countries like Singapore, they may be exacerbated by ongoing deforestation.

According to TODAY’s article dated 2 Nov 2020:

“In photos shared on social media, murky brown water can be seen inundating parts of a road along Hougang Ave 3 near the Singapore Girls’ Home.

……

In a Facebook post at around 3.15pm, PUB said that flash floods had occurred along Upper Paya Lebar Road, Lorong Gambir near Bartley as well as Mount Vernon Road.”

Murky water flooding Hougang Avenue 3 on 2 Nov 2020 (Photo by SG Road Vigilante Facebook Group)

It is interesting to note that these places are also the locations where deforestation is taking place.

Deforestation is underway in Bidadari (around 90 ha) to build a new housing estate.

Deforestation for housing development in Bidadari (Photo taken on 2 Jan 2020)

Likewise, deforestation is taking place south of Lorong Ah Soo.

Is it any wonder why flash foods are happening all of a sudden during a heavy downpour in the vicinity?

It is a clear sign that we have reached a point we can no longer ignore the negative consequences of destroying our few remaining dense forests in Singapore to our own detriment.

But when concerned citizens and nature lovers decry the ongoing deforestation, they get labelled as “negative” and “complaining”.

Have any of us remembered our Geography lessons in school where we learn that replacing the porous soil of the forest with impermeable concrete and asphalt surfaces will result in greater surface runoff?

How deforestation contributes to flooding (Source: https://www.deviantart.com/trivto/journal/Deforestation-and-Disasters-from-W3-364091970)

It isn’t sufficient to simply apply superficial band-aid solutions by building artificial rain gardens and so on.

We need deep ecological solutions to deal with the root cause of the problem of flash floods, increased urban heat island effect and so on.

We need to seriously consider redeveloping brownfield sites such as golf courses and other underutlitised or unused existing built-up lands, instead of sacrificing our few remaining dense forests such as Bukit Batok Hillside Park, Clementi Forest, and so on.

To sign the petition to conserve Bukit Batok Hillside Park, click here.

To sign the petition to conserve Clementi Forest, click here.

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2 thoughts on “Deforestation and flash floods: How they are all connected

  1. Pingback: Open petition letter to support conservation of Bukit Batok Hillside Park area to ensure a sustainable future for us – Nature and Us

  2. Pingback: Loss of ecological connectivity along Bukit Batok Nature Corridor is a serious concern, in view of Singapore’s commitment to sustainable development – Nature and Us

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