Sunday, April 18, 2010

Precious relic of village life below Bukit Timah Hill

This must be one of the last (if not last) communal washing point left in Singapore today. It is located at the foothill of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in a quiet corner off old Senapang Road where a village once stood - a precious relic of village life in the past.

While most communal washing points in old Singapore came equipped with hand-pumps and underground wells, some like this rare one had free flowing water coming off dependable sources like surface drainage off abutting hills.

Senapang's communal washing point gets its constant supply of water from the stream in the adjacent Taban Valley.

Fortunately for us, the construction of a new condominium nearby did not encroached upon the communal washing point. Being part of an existing drainage system probably saved it.

I earnestly invite you to drop by here and marvel at the little bit of history we still have. Bring the children too. Perhaps, after a good hearty nature walk up the hill, we can take a moment rest and ponder over its crystal clear water and be inspired to reflect and discuss topical issues such as climate change, rising temperature, water depletion and pollution... issues that are akin to environment degradation, forest destruction and lost of natural habitats and sustainable water catchments.

If a nature walk should end this way, it is a way truly forward in hope.

Direction: Walk halfway up Hindhede Drive, turn right into a small open field where there is a trail lined with sawn logs. Follow it into the wooded area till you see the communal washing point. It should not take you more than 5 minutes.


Joseph Chun said...

Thanks, Joe. I was just there last weekend. Plan to revisit soon. Next time, will follow the Kampong Trail to MacRitchie Reservoir.


Joe Lai said...

Hi Joseph, do share the knowledge with others. Hope it will be preserved as part of BTNR education. I first knew of this place back in 1993 when I was posted here in the Nature Reserve as a Management Officer. A recent re-visit inspired me to highlight it. I am really happy to see it still here.
Cheers : )

Unknown said...

Joe, thanks for the post on this unique place. In the 1950s when I visit my Grandaunt up the hill, I used to pass by this water point. It would be great if someone can shed light on its history. I revisit it whenever I was in the vicinity and I am glad it is still standing today.