Published on: Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah was still experiencing a mild haze as of 9am Tuesday with the Air Pollutant Index (API) at Kota Kinabalu registering 55, Keningau (43), Sandakan (45) and Tawau (45).
Department of Environment (DOE) Sabah Director, Rosli Osman, said people are reminded to take precautionary measures and not do any activities that could affect the air quality as any wind change can cause the haze to worsen.
Although the haze situation in Sabah is not serious as in the peninsula, he said people should not take for granted and conduct open burning activities at their premises like housing parks and settlements or set bonfires while fishing and hunting in the forest and peat areas.
"Smokers should not also throw their cigarette butts indiscriminately on dry grounds at the roadside, bushes, green fields and rubbish disposal sites.
"Traditional farmers must also not set open fires on agriculture wastes like paddy husks, and dry grass during the dry spell now," he said in a statement Tuesday.
Rosli also said plantation companies and industrial premises are prohibited from conducting open burning to dispose their wastage and industrial effluents.
He said those staying in housing parks should not burn their rubbish as those will be collected by contractors appointed by the local authorities.
"Developers and contractors at construction sites must also take initiatives to reduce dust due to construction works and roads that are regularly used by big vehicles and heavy machinery must be wet with water, regularly."
"Contractors that are specifically involved in land clearing activities are prohibited from burning twigs and tree trunks.
"DOE will conduct regular monitoring, especially in areas that have been identified as being prone to easily catch fire in Sabah," he said.
Rosli said the department will not hesitate to take stern action against those found to causing fire through open burning activities deliberately.
He said the public can contact DOE Sabah at 088-488166/7 or its toll free line 1-800-88-2727 to channel information on any bush fires and open burning activities in Sabah.
He said the public can also contact Fire and Rescue Department at 088-422652 for the same purpose.