SUMATRA ISLAND, INDONESIA - JUNE 27: A woman walks trough haze as a forrest fire burns bushes and fields June 27, 2013 in Siak Regency, Riau Province, Indonesia. The fires on Sumatra have caused record smog in Malaysia and Singapore. Sumatra has stepped up efforts to fight the fires to relieve the conditions. Eight farmers have been arrested for setting the fires on Sumatra Island. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
Indonesian President Joko Widodo told the BBC in an interview that it would take three years before results can be seen from their efforts to curb the annual burning of forests.
This is a stark difference in communications than his Vice President who has labelled neighbours, Singapore and Malaysia as ungrateful. The same person who also turned down help from us before telling us the they’re “open” and that if we want to we can help instead of just talking about it.
The President also told the BBC that authorities are building water reserves in the forest and canals to get water to the hotspots, while also “making progress to enforce laws against forest-burning”.
“You will see results soon and in three years we will have solved this,” he said, adding that Indonesians were also victims of the haze.
Singaporeans have felt the full effect of the haze in recent years as Indonesia burns it’s forests in a bid to clear land for plantation, factories and what not. Fingers have been pointed at many various places, from the farmers to the big corporations that are entering Indonesian shores for business opportunities.
The smog has gotten so bad in parts of Indonesia and hit ridiculous four digit figures and yet the annual illegal event has still not been culled. Here’s hoping that in three years we can thank Indonesia for clean air all year round.