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Jakarta Post

What can be done to protect communities during haze season?

  • Ewa Wojkowska


Ubud, Bali   /   Mon, September 30, 2019   /  01:09 pm
What can be done to protect communities during haze season? A toll road workers manages the traffic amid thick smog from forest and land forest in peatland area in Pulau Semembu village, Ogan Ilir regency in South Sumatra on Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. (JP/Ahmad Rizki Prabu)

Almost every year, toxic haze caused by forest fires engulfs vast parts of Kalimantan and Sumatra, filling the lungs of millions of people living in these areas. The fires typically occur as a result of slash and burn practices to clear land for oil palm or pulpwood plantations. As of Sept. 20, there were 5,086 fire hot spots recorded in Indonesia and 328,724 hectares of land burned, according the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB). Families in the area are waking up to red skies and clouds of toxic air. In Central Kalimantan’s capital city of Palangkaraya — home to over 280,000 people — the air quality index (AQI) on Sept. 16 was reported at the hazardous level of 452, according to Air Visual. Thus hundreds of thousands of people are exposed to high levels of unhealthy particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns (PM2.5) or less. According to the Wor...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.