Floods and landslides symptoms of ailing ecosystemPetaling Jaya, Malaysia - WWF Malaysia has called on authorities to regulate highland development as part of its short and long term flood mitigating measures in the country.
The organisation's Forests for Water, Water for Life (FWWL) Programme Director, Dr K. Ramadasan, said the latest incidences of floods in the country were testimony to the fact that deforestation upstream was causing problems to people.
"Widening and deepening drains in the city will not solve the problem. Our rivers are silted as a result of indiscriminate land clearing upstream. This is all brought to our doorstep when it rains heavily."
He was commenting on the recent floods and landslides which occurred in the city and also in Kampung Baru Ringlet in Cameron Highlands respectively. Dr Ramadasan said indepth studies were needed to produce actual policies and strategies to safeguard the sanctity of highlands where the main water catchment areas are located.
"Development in any form has to have a ceiling to avoid the collapse of the highland ecosystem. Expanded and large scale development projects in the highlands should be discouraged." He said floods and landslides were symptoms of an ailing ecosystem and failure in "treating" it early will result in a major environmental catastrophe.
Dr Ramadasan said highland ecosystems are extremely fragile and are the main source of our water requirements in the lowlands. He called on the authorities to look into the cumulative effects of highland development and its direct impact on water catchment areas and the quality of water supply to homes.
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