“Two of my children experienced severe cough for a month because they have been breathing this polluted air. We don’t have any other place to hide from this haze” said Sudarto, a father that came to our haze shelter to get fresh air and mask for his children.
As the fires are getting worse and the air quality has reached the level of hazardous, we open our Haze Shelter for everyone who needs masks (surgical and N95 masks), OxyCan and safe room to protect the people from the polluted air. Our building has two stages filters to filter the air inside the building and to ensure the air exchange is still happening and it is clean. Our shelter can reduce the number of PM 2.5 to 95 - 99 %. We also set up other haze shelters in 3 resident's houses so their families can breathe freely without any mask. We help them to seal the holes or ventilation in their houses and give Airazor products for air filtration. We will continue to help residents to set up their own haze shelter although we only have 10 air filters left.
Over the last month, Youth Act has also been distributing more than 5,000 masks to schools and remote villages in areas that have been strongly impacted by the haze due to nearby forest fires. Our priorities are pregnant women, children, and elders because we only have a limited number of masks. Right now we only have less than 1,500 N95 masks and 2,000 surgical masks.
Fire prevention is not only the duty of firefighters department, but it is everyone's. Many of the firefighters are exhausted after working all day and night to extinguish the fire, they need more personnel and resources. For this reason, on the 31st of August, we will conduct a youth firefighter training to regenerate our youth firefighter squad. 20 students will join our training in RE-PEAT (Rehabilitation of Peatland) Tumbang Nusa. We will work together with Banjarbaru Environment and Forestry Development Institute (BP2LHK) to train these young people about teamwork, equipment, and technique to extinguish the fire in the peat area.
Please send us support to continue fighting for the lives of our people and also the future of Kalimantan. Send donations whenever you can, or you can also help us to spread the information and address the issue. This is something the world needs to know and pay attention too because the fires are contributing to climate change and it's destroying the ancient rain forests in Central Kalimantan.