After Two Decades Waiting, Only Now Can Riau Residents Enjoy Haze-Free Air

After Two Decades Waiting, Only Now Can Riau Residents Enjoy Haze-Free Air

For the first time in 18 years, the Indonesian province of Riau in Sumatra can manage to prevent haze caused by raging forest fires from choking the province.

Last year was especially bad – Riau and five other provinces in Indonesia declared states of emergency because of the haze; schools and airports were shut down.

At its peak last year, there were more than a thousand hotspots in Riau alone, compared to just over a hundred detected this year. The region also affected the haze spreading to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. But early intervention this year has helped prevent a repeat of the situation.

Residents of Pekanbaru in Riau are now enjoying the outdoors once again after years of being choked by haze from forest fires this time of year. Air quality and visibility have been in the moderate range in most days and in most areas recently. And with the rainy season now on its way, it appears the worst is over.

“The peak of the dry season has passed. It was predicted to be from June and August. In fact, we forecast some parts of Riau should have experienced some rain,” said Aristya Ardhitama, a climatologist at the Riau Meteorological Agency.

This year, the Indonesian authorities acted early to prevent forest fires – a lesson they learned from last year’s catastrophe, when the haze reached hazardous levels.

As early as six months ago, authorities declared a state of emergency in Riau and 5 other provinces, enabling more resources to be deployed. More than 6,000 personnel were mobilised in Riau province alone, assisted by firefighting planes equipped to douse the fires and prevent them from spreading. Cloud-seeding operations were also carried out to induce rain.

Edwar Sanger, the head of the Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency said: “According to the meteorological agency rainy season starts in October. Therefore if we can maintain the current smog-free situation for the next 20 days, we will create history after having suffered over the last 18 years. God willing there won’t be any more smog in Riau. This is demonstrated by no shutdown of schools and airport, no distribution of masks and so on. We are grateful.”

However, authorities are aware that forest fires and the ensuing haze will need much more time to be completely eradicated. Most farmers still use the slash and burn practice to clear their land. Oil palm plantation companies that use them as part of their supply chain exacerbate the problem.

“We always try to educate to the communities not to stop clear the land by burning. They should find alternative ways. We’ve explained this,” said Edwar.

Weak enforcement is another challenge, made worse by alleged corrupt practices that have been around for decades.

So, residents in Riau – for the first time in almost 2 decades – are enjoying cleaner air. But there is no guarantee this will continue when the next dry season comes along. Fighting fires for half a year every year drains resources and energy.

Dibaca 1484 x
Please Share:
Previous Ini Dia Cara Mudah untuk Cek Kampus yang Diakui dan Terdaftar di Kemristekdikti
Next Namanya Dicatut, Ridho Ficardo Desak Polda Lampung Segera Usut Kasus Proyek 14 M

You might also like

In English 0 Comments

Here is the Amount of Bonus the Gold Medalists of Rio de Janeiro Olympic Get

Attempting to win an Olympic medal is tough work: you entirely dedicate four years of your life to maybe get on that podium. With that comes glory and pride for

In English 0 Comments

When Google is Thought to be more Trustworthy than the Government

Millennials are said to be a tech-savvy generation. But how aware are we of our digital footprint and security in cyberspace? Seeing how some people reacted to the recent regulation

In English 0 Comments

Your Palm is Where All Of Your Body Parts can be Traced for Body Fitness

Acupuncture has been used for centuries, becoming one of the standard methods of therapy in China. As an alternative to modern medicine, acupuncture is now practiced worldwide, becoming a very


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply