Government Addresses Air Pollution in Latest Monthly Meeting

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Government Addresses Air Pollution in Latest Monthly Meeting
This image is used only for representational purpose (photo: Kinglomo/Flickr)

Air pollution persists as a pressing issue in Laos, primarily due to ongoing burning waste and crops, leading to the release of harmful smog into the atmosphere. In response, the government convened its monthly cabinet meeting on 26 April to address this concern.

Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone urged the relevant sectors, especially the Ministry of Health, to step up their game and prevent the health threat of the public caused by PM 2.5, which every day rises to “unhealthy” levels.

On 26 April, air quality in Champasak, especially in Pakse, reached a critical level, with PM 2.5 levels soaring to an alarming 232 AQI. Similarly, in Samakkhixai, Attapeu, the air quality index surged to 222 AQI. Last week, The air quality in Vientiane Capital deteriorated to a dangerous level at 171 AQI.

While authorities have advised the public to limit outdoor activities to minimize exposure to polluted air, concrete measures to address the pollution issue remain lacking.

In addition to pollution concerns, the cabinet addressed the ongoing high temperatures affecting Laos. To mitigate environmental damage, the government emphasized the importance of inspecting mining companies to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.

To demonstrate their commitment towards the issue, the Ministry of Education and Sports rolled out new measurements on 25 April to urge schools across Vientiane Capital to consider canceling classes and avoid outdoor activities should the weather get too scorching.

While the effectiveness of government efforts to combat air pollution remains to be seen, it is evident that authorities are actively engaged in discussions and regulatory development to address this pressing issue.