All of South East Asia, from July to October, seemingly on an annual basis, is shrouded in smog from a neighbouring country, Indonesia. Haze, caused by burning trees for palm oil plantations, has now become a truly horrible crisis, but one that still does not receive enough attention. We citizens of Singapore are left wearing masks, sealing up cracks in window frames with tape or simply not venturing outside in order to avoid the awful smoke. But no-one, no government, no politicians are standing up to this issue that causes the following health problems:
Of course, let’s not forget the unhealthy air being swallowed by pregnant women, causing birth defects and other related illnesses. Innocent people are growing slowly, but dangerously, ill. These people, completely vulnerable, are being harmed, and cannot leave Singapore; their families, spouses, and income are all tied to this country. It is completely unfair and in no way is anyone tackling this issue or representing these people and their suffering.
We need to work out a coordinated approach to sorting this problem. How can you step up? How can you help our community? First of all take measures to keep yourself safe. Stay home when PSI levels reach 100+. Avoid going outside. Prevent people with asthma or lung disease to leave their houses. Once that is achieved, start to campaign against it. Perhaps write a letter of complaint to the Indonesian Government. Write to your local MP and apply pressure. Sign online petitions. Stop buying products with palm oil in it.
You need to help. Solving this issue starts with you.