Anonymity assured when reporting open burning

National 1 minute, 59 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

MEMBERS of the public who wish to make complaints about any open burning activities will be able to do so with the reassurance that their identities will be kept anonymous, JASTRe said.

A representative of the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) yesterday told  The Brunei Times that the department received “quite a number of complaints” about open burning in a month via the Darussalam hotline 123. 

The JASTRe officer (who declined to be named) said that callers to the hotline were helping to curb open burning by reporting open burning activities.

The officer maintained that complainants would only have to provide details of the open burning activity they wished to report, as well as its location or exact address.

“As a department, we respect public identities not to be mentioned or revealed. The first and major thing we want to solve is how to make people (refrain from conducting) open burning,” she said.

Although the officer was unable to disclose the exact number of open burning complaints they received from the public, she shared that many people were now also reaching through to JASTRe with their complaints through the department’s office numbers as well as via emails.

Once an open burning report is made by a member of the public, JASTRe officers will be dispatched to the scene to advise the open burning perpetrator against the act, she said.

“JASTRe is putting as much effort as we can towards continuing with our ‘advisory’ approach against open burning.

“Sometimes, the people doing the open burning take our advice and stop, but we've also encountered open burning cases which are recurring,” the officer added.

The officer said that this could be because open burning has become a ‘habit’ or ‘culture’ for many in Brunei as a way to dispose of rubbish.

“Open burning activities are still rampant through the country, especially in the evenings,” she pointed out, further saying that the habit needed to change.

Earlier this week, Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) readings in the country went up to 52 and 47 for the Tutong and Belait districts, and 45 and 28 for the Brunei-Muara and Temburong districts.

While PSI readings have dropped back to ‘good’ levels (PSI below 50) across all four districts as of press time, the JASTRe officer maintained that it was not an invitation to begin or continue open burning activities in the country.

The Brunei Times