Principals given power to close schools over haze in S’wak

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 20 Aug 2019

KUCHING: School principals in Sarawak can close their schools if the air pollutant index (API) hits 200 and above, says Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.

The Deputy Chief Minister said it was the standard operating procedure (SOP) for schools to be closed once the API reaches 200, which is deemed very unhealthy.

“We have discussed the SOP and agreed that the person with the authority to close the affected school is the principal, upon discussion with the respective district education office,” he said after chairing a state disaster management committee meeting here yesterday.

The air quality improved yesterday when schools reopened after a week-long break, with API readings of below 100 across the state at 1pm.The Kuala Baram area in Miri had recorded hazardous API levels above 300 during the school holidays due to peat fires, which have been largely put out by now.

Uggah reminded the public not to carry out open burning during the current dry spell.

He also urged those facing water shortage to inform their Resident’s Office immediately.

“We have set our KPI (key performance indicator) to supply water within six hours after receiving a complaint,” he said, adding that disaster management at divisional level had been activated to respond to fire and water shortages.

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school , Sarawak , haze


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