Rosey (second left) visiting her Bekenu constituency recently to check on the needs of the people.

MIRI: The Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) has readied 18,000 face masks ready for distribution to target groups in Miri to mitigate air pollution arising from the Kuala Baram peat fire.

Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus said she has been informed that the masks were available but yet to be distributed by the authorities as there has been no requests yet.

“This was possibly due to the school holidays, was SK Kuala Baram and other schools in the surrounding areas are still closed for the mid-term holidays and will only re-open next week,” she said.

The haze peaked last weekend as API readings at ILP Miri and SK Kuala Baram shot to hazardous levels, triggering health warnings and forcing the authorities to shift gears after firemen fought a lone losing battle due to tinderbox-dry peat and strong winds.

The resulting haze containing dust, smoke and other harmful particles have choked numerous areas in Miri, with some areas recording API as high as 361.

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