Vientiane has launched a hotline for residents to call and report the illegal burning of garbage or other types of illegal fires in the capital.
The Vientiane Capital Department of Natural Resource and Environment has established a hotline, 1523, for residents to report the illegal burning of garbage, rice fields, and scrubland around the city.
The hotline is available from Monday to Friday from 09:00 – 16:00 and will receive reports on all illicit burning in the capital.
Those who report fires will be required to report the location, date, and time of the fire, and try to take photos or video as evidence of the incident, according to Vientiane Capital authorities.
A notice issued by the Mayor of Vientiane Capital in December last year officially banned the burning of garbage in a move to reduce environmental damage.
The notice, dated 16 December, was addressed to the head of the Vientiane Capital Department of Natural Resources and Environment, outlining the types of household burning and other types of open burning that are officially prohibited citywide.
The response came after the extreme air pollution of 2018, when a haze of smog covered much of the capital. The cause of the smog, which gripped several cities in Southeast Asia, was attributed to dust and large-scale open burning.
Housefires continue to plague the capital, which topped a list of provinces with the most fires, with 68 fire incidences reported last year, costing the economy LAK 11,604,000,000 kip (USD 1.3 million) in damages.