The haze is a constant phenomenon faced by Malaysia and her neighbouring countries. The haze is basically pollution of atmosphere, which is clogged with pollutants and other substances from forest fires.
The haze is a direct effect of forest fire in Kalimantan and other parts of Indonesia due to slash and burn method of farming. The Indonesian authorities appear to have no power to control farmers from practising such methods. The haze is further worsened by open burning practised by most Malaysians. Open-field burning of rice straw by the rice planters and open burning of dried leaves and garbage done by the public are a few examples that done by Malaysian. Many are ignorant of the health effects of open burning.
During the haze, hospitals and clinic often report a dramatic increase in respiratory problems, lung infections and asthma attack. The Air Pollution Index (API) usually indicates the hazardous and dangerous levels of pollution during this period. The haze has long-term side effects. Prolonged inhalation of polluted air will result in serious lung infection which particularly affects the elderly.
The government must play its role to reduce the haze treat. It has to cooperate with the Indonesian authorities to stamp out forest fires. The culprits must be brought to justice, either through healthy fine or prison sentence. Constant vigilance would ensure the perpetrators do not repeat their offence.
The government should also raise the public awareness of the dangers of forest fire. Continuous campaign of the cause, solutions and steps-need-to-be-taken to reduce the haze need to be promoted through all types of social media like television, radio, newspaper and even via internet. The authorities should also provide assistance to farmers and introduce more sophisticated forest clearing methods.
In Malaysia, strict laws must be imposed to penalise those who practise open burning. On-going campaigns on the dangers of open burning should be intensified. Individuals too have a role to play. They must participate in every campaign and stop burning. Students can advise their parents not to practice open burning.
Every individual has to remember that we do not own the world, but instead we lent it from our future generations. We must protect our world so that our grandchildren woulh have a healthy earth to live. writen by Ariff Zafran b Ariffin