The recent haze as a result of forest/peat fires in Sulawesi, Irian Jaya, Sumatra and Kalimantan in Indonesia has affected not only Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Southern Thailand, part of Philippines but also countries as far as Vietnam and Sri Lanka. Our PM has rightly pointed out that we should stop pointing fingers and see what we can do to help put out the fires. But having done that we must have some guarantee that such incidence will be nipped in the bud. There must be some policing not only by Indonesia but also by Singapore and Malaysia (as good neighbours) to prevent a similar calamity by using satellite pictures, etc.
The first haze warning came somewhere in June/July 97 and it became full blown around September 97. What surprised me is the environmentalist and big powers who championed against deforestation, especially from U.S did not make the headlines to offer help until very recently. While acres and acres of forest were burning not to mention the impact on millions of people (short term and long term) on health and the economy over many months, we in Asia were to left to help ourselves. France and Japan were the first few countries to offer some help. Now with co-ordination from UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA) the international response has been encouraging. A list of the contribution received so far can be seen at DHA Relief web ( http://wwwnotes.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf ) site under South-East Asia Environmental Emergency Situation Report No.5. and Situation Report No.6.The site also states Indonesia's willingness to welcome international assistance in
DHA is willing to serve as a channel for cash or other assistance contributed.
I have been busy too during this period .there were a few request asking me to setup a Haze site (http://www.vadscorner.com/haze.html) along that of the Enterovirus outbreak site (http://www.vadscorner.com/outbreak.html). As I had been very busy with my work (I have to work, you know) I managed to have the page up on September 22. The response was overwhelming. In 3 weeks more than 14,000 hits were recorded at this and its mirror site( http://www.geocities.com/manipalalumni/haze.html). My counter actually "konked out" for a few days. A week later I was approached to help with a survey (http://www.vadscorner.com/hazeq.html) on the Haze. It was a challenge for me to create something like this on the web. As of date there were 115 responders to the survey from this region as well as from Australia, US, etc. Once analysed, this information will be placed on the Internet in a Power-point presentation. The power of the Internet as a tool for information dissemination was once again amplified. This time I had contributors from all over suggesting links, comments, and encouragement's. To them a big "Thank you". My desire was to see a page by the people for the people, and this was achieved. Internet and its information is(most part) and should be free. My role again as in the enterovirus outbreak was that of a co-ordinator, linking all the relevant sites in one page. This would not be possible if not for work done by those who have maintained all this information at their sites.
OK what's in the Haze page .for those who have yet to get their Internet account, this is what you have missed.
With that I let your "mouse" or your "keyboard" do the "talking".
Till next month, "Happy Surfing".
The links to URL mentioned above are valid at the time of writing (15 September 1997).
This page can be accessed at http://www.vadscorner.com/internet8.html or at http://www.vadscorner.com/mma_internet.html.
Links last updated 24 April 2005.