The haze is back in Singapore this past two months, making the already sweltering summer weather suffocating, and keeping both citizens and foreigners alike indoors, or else seeking shelter and cool, fresh air in other places.
The haze starts in Indonesia where farmers burnt their land to clear it. Due to the winds, Singapore and West Malaysia get the brunt of their hazardous and illegal activities.
Officials from both countries have been in dialogue with their Indonesian counterparts regarding this serious matter, but is there a solution to it?
For the people on the ground, there does not seem to be one. The haze would be happening almost every year around these months, and it got worse last year in June, when the Pollutant Standard Index hit a high of about 300. Due to that, respiratory problems, e.g Asthma, were on a high. Clinics were full. However, thankfully, it was the June school holidays for the local schools, thus many students were at home and indoors.
The only solution is for the Indonesian side to get their farmers to stop using the slash-and-burn method of land-clearing and use cleaner alternatives, for the sake of everyone in the region. Not only that, does not the haze also adds on to global warming and thinning the ozone layer? The weather temperature is already rising, and the extra smoke is only making it worse.
But how to change the mindset of these farmers who feel that slash-and-burn is the fastest and most effective method??
People are stubborn, hence they need to be convinced and persuaded. The right people will have to show them that cleaner and efficient alternative methods are available. The best way will be to demonstrate to them.
I am not an expert, but just a commoner experiencing the haze. Thank God I am blessed without Asthma problems, and I am hoping that I will never have that. For those who do, I am hoping for them to not have unnecessary breathing problems, as it will be painful and really troublesome.
Thus, I am hoping that the experts in this field will find the best alternative and help make the situation better, and a cleaner place for the world.