Malaysia to introduce tube wells to Indonesia to fight haze-causing peat soil fires

Malaysia will introduce to Indonesia the application of tube wells in peat soil areas to stop the perennial haze problem affecting countries in the region.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the use of tube wells in the country had been proven effective in dealing with peat soil fires which contributed significantly to the haze problem.

He told the media this on arrival at the Kuching International Airport from the federal capital Wednesday.

“We have tube wells in strategic locations in peat soil areas nationwide.

“We activate them come the dry season to moisten the very dry vegetative material in the peat soil which can burn for a very long time deep underneath the surface,” he said.

He said more of such wells were being progressively put in such areas nationwide now.

Wan Junaidi also said that he would forgo his Hari Raya Qurban celebration this year and would leave for Jakarta this Friday to fine-tune the terms and content of a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with his Indonesian counterpart on the haze.

He said the Indonesian authorities were doing their best to stop the haze and more than 200 oil palm and forest plantation companies had been investigated for open burning.

“It is right and just that they also penalise Malaysian companies for the offence in order to enforce the law,” he said.

On the current haze affecting the country, he said the situation was predicted to continue until early or the second week of October due to the change in direction of the south westerly wind.

He said since yesterday, 472 hotspots had been detected in several parts of Kalimantan and 26 in Sumatra, both in Indonesia.

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