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Jakarta Post

From fisherfolk to orangutans, more bear brunt of smog

  • Apriadi Gunawan, N. Adri, Jon Afrizal and Asip Hasani

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Medan, Balikpapan, Jambi, Blitar   /   Fri, September 20, 2019   /  09:30 am
The Jakarta Post Image
This picture taken on August 10, 2019 shows Indonesian firefighters battling a fire at a peatland forest in Ogan Ilir, South Sumatra, due to the dry season which had worsened in recent weeks. - Indonesian authorities are deploying thousands of extra personnel to prevent a repeat of the 2015 fires, which were the worst for two decades and choked the region in haze for weeks.(AFP/Abdul Qodir)

Smog caused by forest and land fires has spread to wider areas, disrupting people's activities and even affecting the health of orangutans as the government scrambles with its dousing efforts. Fisherfolk in Pandan district, Central Tapanuli regency, North Sumatra, have not been able to go fishing in the past week as smog from fires in Riau has blanketed the area, affecting visibility in the region. Fisherman Ucok Pasaribu said the smog had disrupted fisherfolk’s activities as they feared losing their way amid the limited visibility. "We use traditional equipment, so there are no [modern] navigation devices on our boats. Fisherfolk could lose their way and even reach the Indian Ocean without navigation tools given the current state of the smog," Ucok told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday, adding that many had lost their way due to the limited visibility...