The Lone Grey Squirrel’s secret hideout is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I know I’ve kind of just given away the secret location but hey, it’s still not as if you will find the hideout on Google Map.
Now what you should know about Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia is that it is an equatorial country with a vast equatorial rainforest. According to all geography text books, encyclopedias and even Wikipedia, this means that the place is hot and wet. Equatorial = hot and rainforest = wet.
Well it looks like all those books and websites are defunct.
We are supposed to get about 2360 mm of wet, refreshing rain every year with February being one of the dryer months still getting 145 mm. Most of the time in February, we can expect it to rain on 53% of the days.
So why is it that this year there has been almost no rain at all? Many places in Malaysia have not had rain for at least 20 days and a few areas have not had rainfall for a month. In Kuala Lumpur, we finally got a small splattering of rain these last two days.; not a lot but just enough to make the accumulated dust on my car turn into caked mud!
So now in Kuala Lumpur and the state of Selangor, we are faced with water rationing as our water reserves drop to critical levels. I once attended an experts’ meeting on water resources about 10 years ago in which the issue of future water shortages and climate change was raised. Despite the scientific paper presented by one of the speakers on the topic, it was clear that many of the government officials did not take it seriously. When I spoke to some of them, they merely felt that whatever challenges would arise in the future, they would be able to use technology or engineering to resolve it. “Just build more dams.” they said.
Well, now we are facing water rationing in what should be a water rich country. Taps are running dry, crops are failing and the air is thick with haze from the record 7,000 forest and bush fires last month. Currently, some 2.5 million Malaysians will receive water for two days followed by two days without water. Some really unfortunate households only get two pails of water delivered to them each day by water tankers. This is expected to go on for at least till the end of March when it is hoped that some rain will come.
But there really is no guarantee that the rain will come. The authorities tried to do cloud seeding but the most we got was that little bit that was absorbed by the dust on my car.
I think they are now resorting to more traditional ways. The bomoh. The Malay version of a witch doctor, the bomoh is believed to be able to cast spells and influence the weather. Bomohs are often used to help teams win soccer games but judging from Malaysia’s FIFA world soccer ranking of 150 (out of 207), doesn’t give me a whole lot of confidence in their abilities!
So my friends, beware of climate change and human arrogance. A very parched and smelly un-showered squirrel signing off. Have to go store water instead of nuts.