Yessica Vania, from Indonesia, writes about her experience with toxic haze and fumes in her locality and shares some art from her interpretation of what is happening
Forests in Indonesia have been burning since last month – specifically in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Riau.
This has caused a toxic haze to be produced from the smoke of burning trees, which have turned the skies of Jambi red, schools closing and local residents to suffer from breathing problems. These forest fires were partly caused by the clearance of land by using the slash-and-burn technique, where farmers burn vegetation to clear land for uses such as palm oil, pulp, and paper plantations.
The fires may have gotten out of control, causing a forest fire. Even though it is illegal to do so, it is somehow allowed by the government, which some people have protested over.
Twitter user Zuni Shofi Yatun Nisa has posted photos of the red skies in Jambi with a caption, “This is not Mars, this is Jambi. We humans need clean air, not smoke.”
Another resident, Eka Wulandari have posted photos on Facebook which were shared more than 34,000 times. Some people even doubted the authenticity of the photos, which Eka strongly denied. “But its true. Its a real photo and video I took with my phone,” she told BBC Indonesia
Other countries that are near Indonesia such as Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia have reported that the toxic haze has reached and affected them as well.