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Indonesia haze persists as resources run dry

Monday, October 05, 2015 - 01:12

Forest fires in Indonesia continue to spread, as efforts to quell the flames and resulting haze are hampered by a lack of resources. Natasha Howitt reports.

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The outer edge of one of Indonesia's many forest fires creeps up on a wooden hut. Tasked with putting out the flames, these policemen are lacking adequate access to water. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) MOBILE POLICEMAN FROM SOUTH KALIMANTAN PROVINCE, SUKARDI SAYING: "My team of 50 people had to put out the fire manually. (We were) only provided with little help." This problem is proving widespread across Indonesia's Sumatra and Kalimantan islands, where annual slash-and-burn land clearing practices have proved persistent. The fires have caused a blanket of haze to spread across parts of the country, as well as Malaysia and Singapore. The country's National Disaster Management Agency said the situation worsened over the weekend, with over 1,800 hotspots of fire recorded. A lack of policy coordination and legal wrangling that can take years to resolve has meant previous efforts to halt the fires have failed. This year is also a particularly dry year for Indonesia, currently experiencing the effects of the El Nino phenomenon.

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Indonesia haze persists as resources run dry

Monday, October 05, 2015 - 01:12