In the last week or so, our tiny island of Singapore has been suffocating under a thick haze blanket. Once a year, farmers in Indonesia clear large tracks of forests using the slash and burn method so that they can plant their crops. This usually results in Singapore and the southern part of Malaysia being covered in haze. In years past, we usually have a week or two of slightly hazy skies and we deal with it, but this year, the PSI has soared to 400, which is pretty much considered beyond hazardous.
The Singapore government is doing its best in reaching out to Indonesia to solve this problem with no little difficulty and Singaporeans are frustrated, angry and scared because there seems to be no end (at least not till September, which is almost four months away). While there are many who are moaning and groaning about the situation (and indulging in conspiracy theories), a group of Singaporeans have gotten together to try to help the more vulnerable of our population. Cue SG Haze Rescue. A group of strangers who linked up via Facebook and spread out to distribute much needed masks to the elderly and the migrant workers, to find out what they need, if they require medical attention and in general, showing concern.
Last night, I tagged along with a group who were distributing masks in the Toa Payoh area and was honestly touched by the passion they showed in wanting to help. It gives me hope that we still have people out there who are genuinely concerned about people and not just looking out for number one.
If you are in Singapore and are willing to help pay a visit to those who are in need during this haze period, have access to face masks, especially N95 masks and are willing to donate them, please do go visit www.facebook.com/SgHazeRescue and see how you can help.