Saturday, April 21, 2007

I Used 172 liters Per Day. You?

Coping With Water Scarcity - the theme for today's Water Watch Day for Penang State.

At the opening ceremony, the chairman of Water Watch Penang, Dr Chan mentioned about the scarcity and the amount of water he used per day. Penang is a poor state in term of water sources availability. Hence, we just can't take water for granted anymore.

There is one point he mentioned that I would like to share here - the toilet flush! Little did I know that what I have been doing was also practised by Dr Chan. He usually flushed the toilet after several calls. For every 3 calls you only flush once then you are actually saving 2 X 18 liters of water per day. If a million Penangites will to save 32 liters per day. How much liters for a million? Calculated as 1000000 X 32 liters = 32000000! A whooping 32 million liters per day.

How I do it
When at home, I will frequent the toilet every 1.5 hours. For the whole daylight hour (12 hrs), I would have used the toilet for 8 times. Usually I only flush when it stinks! And the stinking only happened about 6 hours later. So for a day I only flush twice - saving 6 X 32 liters = 192 liters.

I checked my latest PBA's bill (April 2007). My household used 31000 liters for duration of 2 months. FYI, Penang's water bills are send out every two month.

Calculation - My Household Water Consumption
31000 liters divided by 2 mths = 15500 liters per month
15500 liters divided by 30 days = 516.6 liters per day
516.6 liters divided by 3 persons in my household = 172 liters per person per day.

After looking at the 192 liters that I saved from the flushing of my toilet, I now realize the important of NOT flushing. The orang asli don't have flush toilet. When I was living in Kampung in the 60s, I used bucket system - unhygienic but I don't flush. When I go camping I don't flush. There are no toilet in the jungle and there is no need to flush after each release. Don't you think modern day livings are sheer wastage? Not eco-friendly? Depleting natural resources?

Now you have this option to save water:
Reduce your flushing of the toilet (if it stinks then use a small scoop of water instead)

Or perhaps, we should go primitive.

I used 172 liters per day! You? Let me know ok?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

No one can outrun their destiny

Long time ago, human was very sad. All the animals gathered and asked human….

Animals : Hi man, you are very sad. We like to help you. Ask whatever and we will help you.
Man : I want to have sharp eyes.
Vulture : Ok, you can have sharp eyes like me.
Man : I want to be strong.
Leopard : Ok, you can be strong like me.
Man : I want to know the long secret of earth.
Serpent : Ok, you can have that. You can burrow everywhere to learn the secret of earth.

When human got all the gifts, the owl….

Owl : Now man knows so much.
Deer : Yes, I am glad his sadness has gone.
Owl : No, deep inside, man still has a hole. He will continue to fill the hole. He will take and take. One day the world will have nothing to take….

The movie Apocalyto is an Academy Award-nominated 2006 film directed by Mel Gibson. It is an interesting movie about the Maya civilization. The above story (which I roughly reconstructed above) was told by the wise man to his tribe. It tells us that man cannot fill up that hole. He will continue to take and take from mother earth. He will continue with his lust to take. Unless we heed the advise, we will be heading for doom. That is our destiny if we do not slow down the process. Do you have a hole?

No one can outrun their destiny is one of the movie taglines. How right it will be! Go and watch the movie.

BTW, I have learned that the giant ants can be used for stitching wound. See the movie to learn about it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

War Zone at National Park

Who don't know that the government's duty is to develop?

Develop it must but it was on the expense of nature.

And then when certain officials neglected their duties, we the citizens have to pay for more development.

At Kuala Koh

Already the canopy walk had been closed. A new one to replace the depleted canopy is under negotiation. The bridge across the river was locked unless a ranger accompany you. This has been the 3rd bridge built after the 2 previous bridges were washed away by floods. Trails were overgrown and inaccessible to trekkers. And so there are not much activities one can do at Kuala Koh except fishing.

The Locals

And so eco-tourists avoided this part of the National Park. The local nature guides were without guiding assignments. And to supplement their income, they become boatmen ferrying anglers to fishing locations. Anglers are welcome but eco-tourists are left without much to do.

Previously - 2004

Back then in 2004 under different supertainent, chalets and hostels were neglected. Fungi and mosses were seen on pillows, blankets and mattresses. Fans were thick with soot. The canopy walk was useable then but lack upkeep. Thing was messy. Tourists avoided this place for lack of maintainence on the accomodations. I avoided it for more than two years.

Now - 2007

Lodging is now privatised. Chalets and hostels are now conducive to sleep. The food at the canteen is now palatable. But tourists are not coming. They are not coming because of lack of trekking activities. And so to increase the flow of people coming to the park, fishing was encouraged. Fishing permit is not necessary infront of the park office. Bathers could not swim at that fishing site.

War Zones

The beach infront of the park office at Kuala Koh is now like war zone.
Notice the amount of rubbish and anglers with the messy "war zone" lookalike.
The water pump intake is situated at the center of this photo. With so many anglers, I am not sure about the water quality.

I saw a plastic container drifting down the river. I wondered how many of these rubbish were dumped into the river by anglers. I believe there was no control of food wrappers taken into the park and no control of pollution.

Who is at Fault?

It is not the fault on the present park administrators. The problems were passed down from the previous park authority. To help the local guides and boatmen, fishing were widely encouraged by the present authority. Trails were not clear for nature tourists. Trekking to Kuala Pertang was cut off. Even the rubber tubing which started from Kuala Pertang was shortened to Lata Sinar. And so eco-tourists were turned away. Anglers are welcome at the expense of the fish.

Imagine a national park to encourage the destruction of fauna (ie fish). This can only happen in Bolehland! Now they have to decide between eco-tourists and anglers.

Sorry fish, your life are numbered!
People, go there to support ecotourism!