Destruction in the Highlands

The mountains are crying. Crying, bleeding, and being raped. Feelings anyone with a conscious heart can detect in the Cameroon Highlands. During my five-hour drive up to the Highlands from Kuala Lumpur, I counted no less than 40 flatbed trucks loaded to the till with hardwood trees. I felt ill when I tried to calculate what they must pull out every year.

Where there were once jungles are now tea plantations.

The next day I asked a few locals what they thought of all the deforestation going on. Most were in serious denial and typical replies would be; "Huh? What destruction? It will grow back. It's not my business." One honest answer was an old man who told me the days were getting hotter and the rain much more sporadic.

Tea leaf pickers take a break.

Indeed, weather patterns are changing. In the Malaysian Highlands and around the globe. Cameroon rain comes in heavy torrential downpours turning the once clear streams into a disgusting murky orange. The resulting soil erosion is killing the land and waterways. Then there are droughts when the rain doesn't come at all. The year previous was a drought year and the locals complained about losing their jobs. But this year it was raining much, so everything was okay. This kind of apathy and eco-ignorance from the people and Malaysian government has got to change. And it had better change soon before Mother Nature makes the change for us.

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