Thai government orders provinces to tackle open air burning

Thai provinces are instructed to mobilize investigative teams to find and stop open air burning of farm waste and other items.

Bangkok – The government has ordered the provinces to stop open air burning immediately, in order to mitigate the air pollution disaster.

All regions of Thailand except for the southern region are now facing unhealthy levels of air pollution, including a higher than standard PM 2.5 fine airborne dust accumulation, with emissions from open air fires said to be the main cause.

DPM Gen Prawit Wongsuwan’s personal spokesman Lt Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich, said today the increase in air pollution is partially due to the current weather conditions where the air remains still, causing the particles to accumulate.

He said Gen Prawit has ordered the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to work together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, as well as provincial town halls and local administrations, to address air pollution in their areas.

Provinces are instructed to mobilize investigative teams to find and stop the source of emissions, especially open air burning of farm waste and other items, by asking for cooperation from the public as well as enforcing laws.

Provincial public health officials are instructed to reach out to sensitive groups that might be feeling the health impact of the pollution, while promoting public participation among villagers on what they could do to reduce emissions.

The public is now advised to reduce the time spent outdoors and to wear protective face coverings when necessary. Members of the public are encouraged to report open air burning on the 1650 hotline. (NNT)