ABSTRACTNow days, deforestation had become one of serious issue that happen in our country. Illegal deforestation that been done by irresponsible people can cause many damage to our earth and can cause natural disaster for example landslide. Deforestation will cause loss of biodiversity, unstable ground that is liable to landslide, soil erosion and agrochemical pollution of streams. This thing usually happened at high ground places where there are many trees that can be cut and places that have potential to have development. In our project we will discuss this case at Cameron Highland where it was one of popular place that deforestation and landslide had been reported. The purpose of our project is to study how landslide happen that caused by deforestation. We will do some research on how this disaster happen. Furthermore we will talk about the effect that will happen after the landslide which is dangerous to people who leaves nearby. With this we can discuss how to overcome this problem so that this problem can be reduced from time to time. If deforestation still continued and landslide keeps happen in Cameron Highland, our environment will be destroyed by our own mankind.
The term landslide means the usually rapid downward movement of a mass of rock, earth or artificial fill on a slope. Although the action of gravity is the primary driving force for a landslide to occur, there are other contributing factors affecting slope stability. Typically, pre-conditional factors build up specific surface or sub-surface conditions that make a slope prone to failure, whereas the actual landslide often requires a trigger before being released. Landslide was one of serious disaster that happened in Malaysia since 1919. The first landslide tragedy recorded in Malaysia was in Bukit Tunggal, Perak which claimed 12 lives and damaged a lot of property. There are many landslide disaster being reported since then and causes many damages, life and economic losses. This tragedy are becoming more frequent lately especially in Cameron Highland that been reported for about one case a year. In Cameron Highland, besides causing loss of lives, it also damaged the highway which was usually the main road there. This will disturbed the economic activity where it can delay the delivery of agriculture products since Cameron Highland was one of the main sources of agriculture in Malaysia. Besides, landslide will also disturb tourism in Cameron Highland because roads will be closed, transportation will be delayed and tourist will afraid to come there. From 1973–2007, the total economic loss due to landslides was estimated about US $1 billion. Most of landslide events in this country occurred during rainy seasons or after prolonged heavy rainfall. This can be understood since this country, due to its geographical position, experiences two maritime monsoons namely northeast and southwest monsoons.
Soil erosion that occurred due to natural process is usually does not cause much problem. It becomes a problem when human activity causes it to occur at much faster rate than under natural conditions. The main cause of landslide in Cameron Highland is illegal deforestation. The term deforestation can be defined as the action of clearing wide area of trees. About 30% of Earth’s surface is covered by forest. Deforestation occurs for multiple reasons such as trees are cut down to be used for building or sold as charcoal. The cleared areas after the deforestation will be used as a development area. It will result in habitat damage, biodiversity loss and aridity. Deforestation also been used for war purposes. But now days, there are no wars happened so it was not a reason for people can cut down trees illegally. Between 2000 and 2012, 2.3 million square kilometres of forest around the world were cut down. As a result, only 6.2 million square kilometres remain of the original 16 million square kilometres of forest that formerly covered the Earth. Deforestation can cause a lot of damages other than landslides. Deforestation can also increase greenhouse gas emission. We all know that forest help to process carbon dioxide that we produce and changed it to oxygen by doing photosynthesis. It will contribute to rising temperatures if a lot of trees cut down. Changes in climate can affect forest dwelling creatures by altering their habitats and decreasing availability of food and water and species losses may occur if this thing keep go on. Examples of impacted species around the world because of deforestation are leopards, elephants, tigers and Orang Utan. The results of the study suggest how to overcome this deforestation problem from time to time.
Cameron Highlands in one of places that landslide happened because of deforestation. Cameron Highland was one of the best places to visit in our country. A place with many agriculture and good places for sight-seeing. Unfortunately, Cameron Highlands had been reported with many cases about landslides. The latest landslide reported happened in Sungai Koyan road on February 2018. This incident luckily not cause any loss of life and injury and no vehicles were involved in the incident but there are roads that closed for caution purposes. It shows that land slide really can cause economic losses since many road will be closed when land slide happens. It was normal landslide happened natural because of rain and structure of soil is not strong. The big problem was landslide that happen because of illegal deforestation ran by irresponsible person. Deforestation will cut down many trees that been used to strengthen the ground grip. Since Cameron Highlands mostly were high ground, trees were needed to make sure that slope will not slip and cause landslide. Low strength of ground grip and heavy rain can cause a huge disaster other than landslide. It may cause mud flood, huge casualties or even death since there are many population lives there. When we examined landslides in Cameron Highlands, we discovered that we can reduce this incident from happen again and again. This paper is structured as follows, causes of deforestation and causes of landslide, effects of landslides, the way to overcome landslides and deforestation and discuss the cases that happened in past few years.
SOIL EROSION CAUSES LANDSLIDE
Soil erosion can cause a lot of devastating impact in our ecosystem and surrounding. One of the glaring effect of soil erosion is landslide. Soil erosion causes landslide in certain places like Cameron Highlands because it is situated at steep geographical location. Furthermore, human activities like deforestation for agricultural practices in steep area and construction purposes contribute in negative ways to extradite the cause of landslide.
Firstly, it is common in this day and age that people are exploiting the ecosystem for variety of purposes. Most obvious activity is deforestation such as Cameron Highlands. Deforestation in a place like Cameron Highlands is very liable to landslide because as the site being clear-up, it is usually believed that landslide is very imminent. Since there is lacking of canopy from natural vegetation that can blockade rainwater from reaching the ground over long periods. Thus, this phenomenon will surge the tendency of erosion on the steep ground which subsequently lead to landslide. Next, devoid of plants cause by deforestation in steep areas can cause landslide in view of the fact that there is no natural vegetation that can absorb rainwater from flowing into the ground de facto this unnatural occurrence will weaken the foundation of ground and landslide will ensue.
Secondly, Cameron Highlands is a major agriculture producer in Malaysia such as vegetables, fruits, flower and so on. Thus, numbers of area have been developed to fulfil the needs of plantation areas. This activities are relating to deforestation especially in steep grounds to optimise the area of plantation. Nevertheless, this action will expose vast area to erosion and eventually lead to landslide. Moreover, many people believed this activities can be reduce or mitigate soil erosion by planting small trees, little grass, shrubs and cover the surface of the ground with canvas but nothing compare to natural vegetation that can minimise soil erosion in more efficient ways. Whereby, authorities should take action by restricting certain areas that can be cleared-up for agriculture practices.
Thirdly, nowadays construction is growing in fast pace and areas like Cameron Highlands are developing building to attract tourists afterward increase the economy. As the areas develop, it forces major areas have to be cleared-up for construction. Deforestation has to be taken placed to attain the deed of construction areas.
Thus, the ecosystem and environment is disrupted which is more prone to landslide if the activities of deforestation is conducted in steep areas. Afterward, as the construction taking place it might causing further problem if there is no proper drainage system that can flow rainwater to the suitable areas. Construction authorities should be aware and conscious about how to manage rainwater so that it will not affecting the surrounding predominantly in steep areas to avoid landslide.
Finally, soil erosion causes by deforestation have a damaging effect on ecosystem and nature. Landslide is one of the most common effect in steep areas and should not be taken lightly. This to ensure landslide will not happen often and cause casualty.
Effect of soil erosion
Soil erosion is a serious problem that keeps occurring because of heavy rains towards the soil that is not strong anymore. As we all know, soil erosion causes many types of problem such as loss of topsoil and this can cause harm to farmers while they are working with their crops. This happens because the top soil cannot hold together and when heavy rain pours, it will drag the topsoil along with the rain. Soil erosion can also cause soil compaction this means that the soil below the topsoil become to compact and it will decrease the water to flow at deeper level and this will cause a more serious soil erosion.
Next, soil erosion can also cause poor drainage and this occurs when the soil is to compact with the sand and it seals the surface layer. Poor drainage is very dangerous because it makes it harder for water to flow through the grown. Thus, it can help cause a really bad soil erosion and this will probably hurt innocent bystanders. Furthermore, increase in soil acidity level is also one of the causes of soil erosion. The increase in soil acidity is very bad to the people who works with the field because this will impact negatively towards the growth of plants and crops. Soil acidity increase because when the soil’s structure is changed and the organic matters are decrease.
Up next, water pollution also one of the major problems that is cause by soil erosion. The water pollution is very dangerous because it can badly effect our water supply and our food source and this will absolutely harm our lives. The water pollution is cause when the soil that is drag down is mix with sendiment and contamination such as fertilizer and pesticide. Lastly one of the most dangerous problems that is cause by soil erosion is landslide. When soil start to collapse it will be easily brought down by heavy rains and this will be very problematic. This is because when landslide occur it can cause many other issues such as accident, traffic congestion and many more.
We hope that this article can help people to understand and knows the causes of soil erosion and try to help prevent soil erosion from ever happening. Thus, making the world free of the dangers of soil erosion. Help save the environment and may it help us in living a better and a brighter life.
How to overcome soil erosion
In this day and age, soil erosion is one of the major problem that keep rising every year. Soil erosion is very dangerous because it harms many people through landslide and many other. Soil erosion is caused by the lack of awareness and the responsibility of the people that keeps doing logging without paying attention that the soil can keep breaking apart and causing many problems to other innocent people. Fortunately, there are many ways to overcome this catastrophe.
One of the ways are by planting many grass and shrubs and add mulch or rocks so it helps in holding the soil together. We can also plant trees because the tree root are a very powerful tool to reduce soil erosion. Furthermore, building retaining wall can also help overcome soil erosion. The retaining wall are built at the base of the slope it can slow down the soil from collapsing and the retaining wall can help grass or other plant to grow and help to keep the soil together thus preventing soil erosion. Other than that, we can also improve our drainage by building gutters and pipes that can flow the water effectively. This is because without an effective drainage, heavy rain can wash away a hold layer of the soil and it is very dangerous. It is also important to keep the soil covered at least a year round because a bare soil is easier to get erosion than the soil with cover.
Next, we can also overcome soil erosion by turning hillside into terraces. Turning the hillside into terraces can restraint the soil from collapsing easily. For example, in Cameron Highland there are a few hillside that has been terraced and farmers can easily farm strawberries and many more without worrying any soil erosion from ever happening. There are many ways to overcome soil erosion it just whether we chose to do it or not to. It is really important that the people knows how to prevent soil erosion so that there will be no fatal accident that may happen because our lack in understanding the dangers of soil collapsing. This few ways of overcoming soil erosion can help save many lives and keep the surrounding nature beautiful in the future.
Cases which happened in Cameron Highlands
Kampung Raja, Ringlet town and Bertam Valley (2014)
Many landslide tragedies in Cameron Highlands happened because of human greed for profit. They willing to do many illegal exploitation of land and corruption without thinking the effects to the nature and the residents. Due to a lot of illegal deforestation activities for plantation of vegetables, the disaster such as landslides and mudslides struck Kampung Raja, Ringlet and Bertam Valley on 5 November 2014. This incidents causing the evacuation of many families and the loss of five lives.
Kampung Raja (2017)
A gardener who is a Bangladeshi man died after he was buried in a landslide. The landslide happened at Batu 49, Kampung Raja. When the incident occurred in 3 o’clock in the morning. The victim and his friend was taking a rest at a hut at the foot of a hill however his friend manage to run from the landslide. The victim was taken for post mortem to the Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom Hospital 2.
Jalan Brinchang-Tringkap (2014)
A man lost his beloved wife and son in a landslide tragedy. M. Nitiahwaty, 24, and R. Rubeniswaran, her one year old son were buried alive in the landslide. The most heartbreaking is the woman was eight months pregnant. The husband, V. Raja, 41, was rescued by fire and rescue. Mr. Raja had fractured his left leg and was buried up to the chest when he was being rescued. They tried to escape from being hit by the debris from the landslide but they cannot running through the workshop which Mr. Raja work at.
This study demonstrates that the contributing of deforestation can cause the landslide happened in the Cameron Highland. This lanslide can cause a lot of bad impact in our ecosystem and surrounding as the Cameron Highland is situated at steep geographical location. Deforestation in the Cameron Highland is very liable to lanslide as the site being clear up. Since there is lacking of canopy from natural flora that can blockade rainwater from reaching the ground over long periods. When the unfilled plants cause by deforestation, this unnatural occurance will make the foundation of ground become weak. There are one cases which happened in the Cameron Highland when a lot of illegal deforestation activities are done. This disaster such as lanslide causing the evacuation of many families and the loss of five lives. So, one of the ways to overcome this serious matter are by planting many grass and vegitation and add much rocks so it helps in holding the soil together.
The disaster of landslide may affect many things in many ways. One of the effect of landslide is can cause poor drainage and this occurs when the soil is too compact with the sand and it seals the surface layer. Poor drainage is very dangerous as it makes it harder for water to flow through the grown. Thus it can cause a really bad landslide and will probably hurt bystanders. So, there are a way to improve the drainage by building gutter and pipe that can flow the water effectively. This is because without an effective drainage, heavy rain can wash away a hold layer of the soil. Nowadays, attraction is growing in fast pace especially in the Cameron Highland to increase the economy. As the areas develop, deforestation has to be taken placed to attain the deed the construction areas. Thus, the ecosystem and environment is disrupted which more pone to landslide.
From the research of deforestation that causes landslide, it can be concluded that the planting of plants and trees is a major protection to ensure the landslide is not occured as the root of trees and plants can make the soil become firmed and the soil will not slide anymore.
1. Barrow C.J.” Issues and challanges of sustanaible Agriculture in the Cameron Highlands”. Malaysia Journal of Environmental Manajorent, Vol 10, 89-114, 2009.
2. Zaini Hamzah.” Quantifing soil erosion and,deposition rates in tea plantation area, Cameron Highland, Malaysia Using Cs”. The Malaysian of Journal of Analytical Secemes, Vol 18, 94-106, 2014.
3. Danish Kazmi.” A study on the contributing factors of Major landslides in Malaysia”. Civil Engineering Journal, Vol 2, 669-78, December 2016.
4. Haliza Abdul Rahman.”Landslide Disaster in Malaysia an Overview”. Health and the Environmental Journal, Vol 8, 58-71.2017.
5. Zainuddin Md Yusoff.”Engineering Geological of an active slope in KM46 Simpang Pulai Perak”. Malaysian Journal of Civil Engineering, Vol 28, 35-41, 2016.
6. Mohamad Aiman Fitri Abd Aziz,” Landslide at Cameron Highlands-Sungai Koyan road. Internet: www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/02/351703/landslide-cameron-highland-sungai-koyan-road, Feb,3,2018( August,29,2018).
7. Bernama. “Cameron Highlands tragedy caused by greed, illegal land clearing.” Internet: http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1268720, Dec. 16, 2014Aug. 20, 2018.
8. Zahratulhayat Mat Arif. “Bangladeshi gardener killed in Cameron Highlands landslide.” Internet: https://www.nst.com.my/news/2017/01/207180/bangladeshi-gardener-killed-cameron-highlands-landslide, Jan. 25, 2017Aug. 20, 2018.
9. Bernama. “Pregnant woman, child killed in Camerons landslide.” Internet: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2014/12/30/camerons-landslide/, Dec. 30, 2014Aug. 20, 2018