NatGeo documentary to feature 12 Singapore innovations, including on fighting dengue and floods

A visitor looks at containers of Wolbachia-carrying Aedes aegypti pupae and eggs at the Project Wolbachia booth at the City of Innovation: Singapore exhibition at Marina Bay Sands on Nov 15, 2019. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - Singapore's efforts to roll out a stealth weapon to combat dengue is one of 12 innovative home-grown projects featured in a new National Geographic documentary.

Produced in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), the hour-long documentary will show among other things, how the National Environment Agency is using male mosquitoes carrying the Wolbachia bacterium to mate with females, causing them to lay eggs that do not hatch.

The male mosquitoes neither bite humans nor transmit disease.

If successful, the novel method will form part of Singapore's dengue control programme.

Called City of Innovation: Singapore, the documentary will be broadcast on the National Geographic channel at 8pm on Sunday (Nov 17).

It showcases Singapore's growth as a city that leverages technology to find cutting-edge solutions for its people and its future.

On Friday (Nov 15), both the National Geographic and MCI launched a roving exhibition showcasing some of these projects at Marina Bay Sands' (MBS) Digital Light Canvas.

Other projects captured in the documentary include the National Parks Board's wildlife bridge Eco-Link  @  BKE and national water agency PUB's Stamford Detention Tank.

The tank, designed to make the city more flood-resilient, can temporarily store an amount of water equivalent to 15 Olympic-sized swimming pools 30m underground.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the exhibition launch, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Sim Ann, who attended the event, said the film can help viewers in Singapore better appreciate some aspects of science and technology and how it transforms day-to-day living in ways that may not be so visible.

She said she hopes parents will take their children to the exhibition so that they can "fall in love" with engineering and technology and pursue them as their future careers.

The exhibition will be based at MBS till Monday, before moving to Our Tampines Hub from Nov 27 to Dec 1 and the Toa Payoh HDB Hub from Dec 11 to 15.

On the documentary's potential impact on foreign viewers, Ms Sim said: "For the international audience, I think it will be our contribution to innovations and developments in urban living. We are always very keen to learn from what others are doing and I think by sharing what we are doing, we also hope to promote that exchange."

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