News

Rain, rain, come to stay

The rains have returned. But some farmers in Lim Chu Kang are not celebrating yet.

After an extended dry spell in Singapore that began in mid-January, many have welcomed the downpours in recent days.

The ponds and wells at Jurong Frog Farm, Sunny Horticulture and Kranji Agri Vista in Lim Chu Kang had dried up to far below their normal levels when The New Paper visited them last month.

Mr Derrick Ng, 33, had to stop growing vegetables on his farm at Kranji Agri Vista because they required too much water.

The soil was dry and cracked and the grass was turning yellow at many farms in the area.

The amount of rain since last Saturday has already surpassed last month's total recorded rainfall of 0.2mm.

In fact on Sunday, as of 6.30pm, 52.6mm of rain was recorded at the Changi climate station, the National Environment Agency's (NEA) reference station, reported The Straits Times.

When TNP visited yesterday, the rain had partially refilled the ponds and wells at these farms, and was rehydrating the plants and soil. For some, water levels had returned to their original levels before the dry spell, although others remained half-full or even empty.

Mr Sun Hui, 26, a worker at Kranji Agri Vista, told us he had much less work to do now.

During the dry spell, they had to water the plants thrice a day, but now that the rains are back, they have to do so only every other day.

'BLESSING FOR FROGS'

Miss Chelsea Wan, 30, farm manager of Jurong Frog Farm in Lim Chu Kang, said: "The water is a blessing for the frogs. They need it."

She said that if the drought had continued, they would not have been able to keep frogs any more. Water is critical for frogs as they breathe through their moist skin.

But Miss Wan added that it had only been three days since the dry spell was broken, and that they needed consistent rainfall to truly make a difference.

And although the water levels of the ponds and wells at these farms had risen, most still were not completely filled.

Mr Vincent Ang, 53, a volunteer at the herb garden in Kranji Agri Vista, said the rain had saved their herbs, but continuous rain was also bad for their plants.

"Right now, the water hasn't recovered to its initial levels," he said. "I hope the rain continues, but I don't know how long it will last."

The NEA said on its website that for the next fortnight, several fair and warm days can be expected.On some afternoons, short-duration thunder showers are expected.

Right now, the water hasn't recovered to its initial levels. I hope the rain continues, but I don't know how long it will last.

- Mr Vincent Ang, 53, a volunteer at the herb garden in Kranji Agri Vista