Nepal Earthquake disaster relief – donate via Mercy Relief and Singapore Red Cross

To donate via Singapore Red Cross

Singapore Red Cross
  • Cash – SRC will be accepting walk-in donations starting Monday 27 April 2015. Please visit the Red Cross House, 15 Penang Lane, Singapore 236486, from 9am to 7.45pm (extended fro 28 Apr 2015) on Mondays to Fridays, and 10am to 3pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
  • Cheque – Please make your cheque payable to ‘Singapore Red Cross Society’, indicate ‘Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund’, donor’s name, contact number and address at the back, and post it to Red Cross House, 15 Penang Lane, Singapore 236486.
  • Online Donation – Donate via SG Gives or Simplygiving
  • DBS Internet Banking (from Wed 29 April 2015) – DBS iBanking > Payment Services > Bill Payment > “Nepal Earthquake Relief”; select deposit account and enter telephone number as the Consumer Reference Number and donation amount
  • DBS / POSB ATM – ATM > English > enter PIN> “iBanking, Cashcard and More Services” > “Credit Card/Bill Payment” > “Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund”; enter telephone number (Bill Reference No), select account type, enter donation amount and press “Confirm”
  • For enquiries, please call the Singapore Red Cross hotlines at 6664 0501 or 6334 9154 from 9am to 6pm on Mondays to Fridays or email
  • The appeal will end on 31 May 2015.

Source: SRC Press release, 26 Apr 2015, Channel News Asia, 26 Apr 2015 and SRC Facebook page, 28 Apr 2015. Please check the Singapore Red Cross webpage for the latest press release.

To donate via Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief
  1. Cross cheque to Mercy Relief Limited with ‘Nepal Earthquake Relief 2015’ written on the reverse, and mail to Blk 160, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, #01-1568, S310160
  2. Cash donations at Block 160 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, #01-1568, S310160
  3. Funds transfer to Mercy Relief’s DBS Current Account 054-900741-2
  4. Credit Card donation via (GIVE page, click on ‘Nepal Earthquake Relief 2015’)
  5. Tele-Mercy: 1900-112-1010 ($10 donation), 1900-112-1050 ($50 donation)

Source: “Mercy Relief to deploy disaster response team, launch nationwide fundraising for Nepal earthquake.” Channel News Asia, 26 Apr 2015. For updates, please check the Mercy Relief webpage for the latest press release.

Learn more

  1. Google News – link
  2. BBC – link
  3. New York Times – link

John Kerry (US State Dept) asks, “What will you do to help protect the ocean?”

John Kerry of the US State Department on human threat on our oceans and how we might protect it:

From the webpage:

“Our ocean today is at grave risk – and it’s not happening by accident. Human activity is the cause. Harmful fishing practices, even illegal fishing; giant garbage patches; hundreds of dead zones; and rising carbon dioxide levels – all of it threatens life under the sea. That’s the bad news. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way. Governments, communities, and individuals can act now to reverse these trends. We can protect the ocean if we all start treating it like ‘our ocean.’”

‘The US Department of State will host the “Our Ocean” Conference on 16 & 17 June (#OurOcean2014). Invited individuals, experts, practitioners, advocates, lawmakers, and the international ocean and foreign policy communities will gather lessons learned, share the best science, offer unique perspectives, and demonstrate effective action.

They aim to chart a way forward, working individually and together, to protect “Our Ocean.”’

The conference will be accessible on the internet.

They add, “wherever you live, you can help in some way. We can make a healthier ocean, for this generation and those to come.”
And ask. “What will you do to help protect our ocean?

“Show your support and tell others how you’ll make this commitment…”

  • I will let my national and local leaders know that protecting our ocean is important to me.
  • I will ask whether my seafood has been caught in a sustainable manner.
  • I will not eat shark fin soup.
  • I will not throw trash into our ocean or waterways.
  • I will volunteer at least one day a year to help clean our waterways or beaches.

Visit to make your pledge and help raise awareness of the conference and the awareness of marine pollution,sustainable fisheries and ocean acidification by joining the Thunderclap!

Our Ocean

World loses/wastes 1/4 to 1/3 of food produced for consumption [World Bank infographic]

I feel uneasy when the young ‘uns won’t eat their tomatoes and think to dispose of them.
So a reminder.

“Food loss and waste a barrier to poverty reduction.” World Bank media release, 27 Feb 2014 and “Food Waste: Doing the Math,” by José Cuesta. Voices, 27 Feb 2014.

WorldBank info graphic:
Food waste, 2014

See also, “Pope Francis says wasting food is like stealing from the poor,” by Josephine McKenna. The Telegraph, 05 Jun 2013.

The pontiff dedicated his weekly audience in St Peter’s Square to the United Nations World Environment Day to draw attention to the excesses of consumerism and food wastage.

“This culture of waste has made us insensitive even to the waste and disposal of food, which is even more despicable when all over the world, unfortunately, many individuals and families are suffering from hunger and malnutrition,” the Pope said.

“Once our grandparents were very careful not to throw away any leftover food. Consumerism has led us to become used to an excess and daily waste of food, to which, at times we are no longer able to give a just value.

“Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of the poor and the hungry,” he said.

The Beauty of Mangrove Forests” (Bimini mangrove, Bahamas)

“A very short film about the beauty and importance of Mangrove Forests.
This film is shot entirely in north Bimini, Bahamas. Every piece of footage was shot in an area that is currently threatened.

The people of the island are working very hard to have the area turned into a marine protected area. The mangroves of north Bimini protect the island from hurricanes and provide the abundance of ocean life that the islanders depend on for tourism and food.

Fisherman, conservationists, life long islanders and scientists all agree that the mangroves of Bimini need to be protected.”

“Bahamas Creates Reserve Protecting Marine Life From Resort Development,” by Juliet Eilperin. Washington Post, 23 Jan 2009.

“The Bahamas government has created a marine reserve off the island of North Bimini, preserving critical mangrove habitat and a shark nursery that had come under threat from a resort there.

The reserve, which will be protected from most fishing and other “extractive activities,” is home to endangered species such as the Nassau grouper and the Bimini boa, as well as a vibrant nursery for lemon sharks.

The decision — approved by the Bahamas cabinet Dec. 29 but announced last week — is a setback for the Bimini Bay Resort and Marina, which has been clearing some of the island’s mangroves to build a hotel, a golf course, a casino and two marinas, some of which have already been constructed.”

Is the threat over?

Bimini Biological Feld Station: “Mangroves of Bimini“:

“The islands of Bimini harbor the only mangrove habitat on the entire western Great Bahama Bank, a fact so significant that Bimini was designated as the highest priority site for a Marine Protected Area by the Bahamas government back in 2000.

Yet today, Bimini’s mangrove habitat shrinks smaller and smaller as a result of foreign development.”

Reminds me of Pulau Redang, Malaysia in the 90’s.

Thanks to Boon Peiya for highlighting this clip in Facebook.


Ducks at Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre, New Zealand, 07 Dec 2011.

From troubles of the world I turn to ducks,
Beautiful comical things
Sleeping or curled
Their heads beneath white wings
By water cool,
Or finding curious things
To eat in various mucks
Beneath the pool,
Tails uppermost, or waddling
Sailor-like on the shores
Of ponds, or paddling
– Left! Right! – with fanlike feet
Which are for steady oars
When they (white galleys) float
Each bird a boat
Rippling at will the sweet
Wide waterway…

“Ducks” is a poem by Frank W Harvey, which I learnt in Secondary 2 – with such great fascination, I never forgot the lines. The complete poem is at

Friends and Supporters of Soi Dog, A Rescue From The Floods…

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: John Dalley – Soi Dog Foundation <>
Date: Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 4:15 AM
Subject: Friends and Supporters of Soi Dog, A Rescue From The Floods…

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The Story Of A Rescue…

Dear Friends and Supporters of Soi Dog,

Many thanks to those of you who have donated towards helping the animals affected by the Bangkok floods.

Soi Dog is working with a coalition of other organizations and volunteers to help as many animals as possible survive. The work is going well with many rescue teams working long hours. As I write to you from Bangkok these teams are on the water saving lives.

It is only through your continued support that their work continues.

Animals rescued are being transferred to a number of temporary shelters outside of Bangkok where there is minimal or no danger of flooding. Wildlife Friends of Thailand is the primary shelter. Additional temporary kennels have and are being built there as a matter of urgency. Edwin Wiek, Secretary-General of WFFT and his entire team have done an amazing job of responding to the crisis both in Bangkok and Ayutthaya. My deepest thanks to them!

The story below and accompanying photos from one of the rescuers gives an insight into a typical day on the flooded streets and the importance of the rescue work:

We had received information that dogs were trapped in flood waters unable to get food in the areas of Chaeng Wattana and Don Meuang. Our mission was to find these dogs, rescue them & take them back to the new transit centre in central Bangkok, ready for transportation to the main rescue shelter at Wildlife Friends of Thailand in Cha Am. This trip was also used to deliver dog food to people in the flooded areas who are feeding dogs.

We found several dogs in deserted houses & garages that were perched on floating cars. It was evident that they had not eaten in days. These dogs were terrified & our rescuers struggled to catch them with their nets & bare hands.

We also found puppies stranded on a pile of floating rubbish who were delighted to see us & promptly jumped in our boat where they enjoyed some food & affection. Their mother was in deep water nearby & although terrified, we finally managed to rescue her also.

On our last boat ride through the night, we spotted a big black dog gasping for air & almost ready to drown as he swam for his life through 2 meter deep water, searching desperately for dry land. We heard him struggling and our rescuers managed to save him just in time. 

The many dogs rescued were loaded into big crates & taken back to Soi Dogs central operation base in downtown Bangkok. They all fell asleep on the bumpy ride home, totally exhausted. Most had been swimming for hours or perched on floating cars not having eaten for several days. 

It was nightfall before our boat returned with the rescued dogs. All were settled in for the night & picked up this afternoon for transportation to the rescue shelter at Wildlife Friends of Thailand in Cha Am.

I speak for all the rescuers on the waters and all the animals saved when I say many thanks for your support!

For me the story and photos above speak for themselves.
Only with your support can this life saving work continue.

Soi Dog will be there for these animals and will do whatever it takes to help them.
Please stand by us at this critically important time. Your support will save lives.


Donating to help with flood relief efforts in Bangkok via Jacob Phelps, NUS postgrad on the ground

Donate funds to Baan Arsa Jaidee at

In a crisis, getting supplies to the ground is critical. A good way to do it, when possible, is to support an agency purchasing supplies on the ground, in the affected country. That cuts transport costs and allows relief workers handling the situation to buy what’s needed and get the right stuff cheaply.

Once you find a agency or contact you can trust, then its about chipping in to help with dollars – every cent and action can help to make a difference.

Jacob Phelps, one of the PhD students from the Biodiversity Crew is in Thailand and helping Baan Arsa Jaidee, an emergency relief centre opened by the autonomous Thai Health Promotion Foundation in collaboration with civil society groups.

05lsm1103gpA-kentridge-14aug2009 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Jacob’s not TA-ing biology students this semester,
he’s in Thailand for research and helping out with flood relief
Baan Arsa Jaidee
Approximate location of Baan Arsa Jaidee and reports of flooding
on the crowd-sourced BKK Flood Map

Chao Phraya river
The Chao Phraya river.

Seeing there was no electronic means to donate directly into the Relief Fund as yet, Jacob setup a PayPal account to collect and deposit funds into the Thai Health Promotion Foundation account, the Thai Government agency managing the Centre’s finances.

Since I can vouch for all this, I posted a note on the NUS Biodiversity Crew blog.

Essentially, you can donate funds by visiting the Baan Arsa Jaidee webpage at and choose to pay using Paypal (you will not need an account). If you’re one of my kakis reading this, you can call me to make a donation.

As environmental biology researchers, we already expect these problems as we observe almost helplessly, the relentless abuse to the landscape repeated everywhere. When it happens, empathy and affection for the places you studied and spent time in, the friends you made there, the enjoyment of what’s still there makes us wish we could help in some reliable and immediate way.

In Thailand for his research, Jacob was there to witness the flooding situation in Bangkok, the most severe in 50 years. People who have lost everything desperately need access to food and clean water, medicine, toilets, boats and clothes.

At Baan Arsa Jaidee, he is packing food for flood-affected areas north of Bangkok. Jacob says resources are limited and funds are needed especially to purchase food and water, rafts and water purifiers for distribution.

When I posted the note on The Biodiversity Crew last week, Jacob wrote, “We and the Centre are in the inner city, and supposedly safe. But last night we went to check out flooding just 3-4km north of us, and it sure looks like it is coming.”

Baan Arsa Jaidee
Click to visit site

See this BBC article for an idea of what they are doing at Ban Arsa Jai Dee.

Thailand flood: ‘Making survival packs‘,” BBC News, 27 Oct 2011.

Thailand is continuing to battle its worst flooding in decades. More than 360 people have died in flooding triggered by unusually heavy seasonal rains across the country since July.

About one third of all Thailand’s provinces remain affected, while the capital, Bangkok, is now braced for severe flooding.

Rungsun Munkong is an assistant director at the Thai Health Promotion Foundation and is currently the centre coordinator for the Baan Arsa Jaidee flood relief centre, which is staffed mainly by volunteers. He spoke to the BBC News website about the centre and its operation.

“Water is now surrounding Bangkok and it’s a high water flood, so we think it could be the worst one in our history.

“Our centre has been open for two weeks. The first week we were helping people in the north who are already affected by flooding, but now we are thinking about how we can help people in Bangkok.

“Currently we’re making survival packs – packs or bags – that have basic foods such as uncooked rice, instant noodles and fresh water.

‘Really worried’

“They also contain tissues, basic medication and some candles and lighters in case electricity is disconnected.”

“We’re worried the floods will last several months”

“What we have done so far is transport our survival packs to flood hit areas where they help people for a few days.

“But people need more than that. We’re worried the floods will last several months and the help we can provide will be too little.

“As well as the survival packs we also have training and workshops for Bangkok volunteers.

“We have about 200 to 300 people per day and we teach them how to make tools to help in the floods – for example, life vests from used plastic bottles and rafts made from PVC tubes and plastic bottles.

“We also give them some emergency tips for making drinking water safe. Essentially we hope to help people prepare for the flood.

“So far we have sent things we have made to the affected provinces, but we hope the people of Bangkok will also be able to learn skills that will help them survive if the floods get really bad here.”

Thanks Mingko, for the alert about the situation.

A simple act of kindness – Aussie lady restores Japanese war diary to serviceman’s orphan daughter

Lindy Glover is a lovely lady who is the daughter-in-law of an Aussie war vet and arm private Alexander Glover, 2/3rd Pioneer Battalion (RIP 1994) who was at Papua New Guinea during the war.

In 2008, the diary was unearthed and after a three year search, saw its way back to Yurie Nobuhiro, the orphan of Shigeaki Fukushina, then a petty officer in the Japanese Imperial Navy. Yurie lost her mother as well a few years later.

The diary, penned between December 1942 and March 1943, records her father’s time with his family before leaving Japan, his landing at New Guinea, being bombed at the frontlines and the memories of his family.

“One of the diary’s entries says, ‘Not a day goes by without thinking about my daughter,’ ” Nobuhiro said. “I’m impressed by the depth of my father’s feelings, yearning to return to his only daughter.”

Yurie travelled to Australia to thank Lindy last week.

The New Guinea campaign (1941-1945) was a major battlefield in the Pacific theatre of World War II and Japan’s southernmost reach. It saw the New Guinea offensives of 1943–44, which “were the single largest series of connected operations Australia has ever mounted.”


Thanks to Alvin Wong who highlighted the Japan Probe post.

Snow Leopard


And this one with a drifting left eye!

See ZooBorns.

“Threatened with extinction from extensive hunting and deforestation, the breeding program in which Twycross Zoo is involved helps raise awareness of the threats facing snow leopards in the wild.

Twycross Zoo also funds the Snow Leopard Trust, which looks at the range patterns of Snow Leopards by using radio collars.”