Dr Hazland Abang Hipni
06/09/2023 11:09 AM

KUCHING, Sept 6 (Bernama) -- Air quality in three divisions of Sarawak, namely Sri Aman, Kuching and Serian deteriorated to an unhealthy level between Sept 1 and 4 due to the haze caused by open burning activities in the neighbouring country.

Sarawak Deputy Minister for Energy and Environmental Sustainability Dr Hazland Abang Hipni said the air pollutant index readings for Sri Aman were between 100 and 155, while Kuching and Serian started recording unhealthy readings from Sept 4.

An API reading of 0 to 50 indicates good air quality; 51 to 100, moderate; 101 to 200, unhealthy; 201 to 300, very unhealthy and 300 and above, hazardous.

According to the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), he said a total of 1,059 hotspots were detected in the provinces of the neighbouring country during the four days.

He said the Sarawak Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) had activated the standard operating procedure (SOP) as an internal control to ensure that there was no open burning that contributed to the haze.

“(This) includes active patrols and detection of hotspot areas, the implementation of open-burning ban awareness programmes, not issuing any open burning permits and enforcing open burning bans to all project developers," he said in a statement today.