Friday, May 2, 2008

Remember the Haze in 1997?

Still remember the haze in 1997 where Kuching was declared State of Emergency when its Air Pollution Index (API) reached the extremely hazardous number 839. It was 339 above 500 where the State of Emergency must be declared upon breaching this number.

I was in Kuching on 23rd September 1997, the day when 839 was the highest API ever recorded in Malaysia. I know how bad it was, I was there in Kuching, where wearing face mask is a necessity even at home.

"More than 10,000 people have sought treatment at government clinics in Sarawak for haze-related illnesses since the state of emergency was imposed, according to the Malaysian medical and health services department."
"In Indonesia, where tens of thousands are reported to be ailing, at least twodeaths have been blamed on the pollution."
"When rain fell in Kuching on Wednesday, however, residents were told to seek shelter because there was a risk that the rain could contain dangerous levels of pollutants."
"Some 1,500 passengers, many of whom had been stranded for days, secured seats on flights leaving for peninsular Malaysia and Singapore."
"The World Wide Fund for Nature estimated Thursday that areas burned or afire in Indonesia totaled 500,000 to 600,000 hectares (1.2 million to 1.5 million acres)."

- International Herald Tribune

Recently, I received an email from Greenpeace regarding how Unilever is burning up Borneo. Suddenly, I came to realize who was the culprit behind those terrible hazy days. Thanks to Dove, I had got a few days of school since all schools in Kuching were closed down to spare myself from choking in haze to death.
Say NO to:

The maker of Dove products, Unilever are buying palm oil from suppliers who destroy Indonesia's rainforests. They are causing forest destruction, species extinction and climate change. Being one of the biggest users of palm oil on the planet, Unilever must stop buying palm oil from these companies and call for a halt on the destruction of Indonesian forests to grow palm oil. Join me in stopping Unilever from destroying forests for palm oil.

Talk to Dove

No comments: