PA sends relief packages out with haze expected in coming weeks

SINGAPORE - With the haze poised to hit the island in the coming weeks, the People's Association (PA) on Saturday started distributing 26,000 care packages to elderly and sickly residents living alone.

These packs contain non-perishable foods and items such as N95 masks, and are meant to help vulnerable residents tide over the impending spate of hazy days.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar, who are both grassroots advisers in Ang Mo Kio GRC, launched the WeCare Packs initiative at the annual Jalan Kayu Day.

About 200 of these packs will go out to the area's residents these two weeks.

Overall, more than 5,000 Community Emergency Response Team members and grassroots volunteers will distribute the packs to about 26,000 households islandwide in the next four weeks.

This is the first time the PA is carrying out such an initiative in anticipation of the haze.

"I believe our intention is to make sure our residents are ready, even before an emergency happens," said Dr Intan in Malay, at the community event.

"Last year, we saw how haze brought adverse consequences. This year, we plan to make sure we lend our residents help early."

On Friday, the National Environment Agency (NEA) sounded a warning about the south-west monsoon, which is expected to strengthen in the coming weeks.

Strong winds could carry smoke haze from fires in Indonesia over to Singapore.

NEA will issue a daily haze forecast starting on Monday.