Though they are unpleasant to go through especially when the smoke is inescapable, it seems to be one of the normal events here in the Philippines and seems to be the acceptable way of dealing with two ongoing problems:
- 1. What to do with the straw left from a rice harvest, and
- 2. How to clear land or get rid of what we don't want like garbage and debris.
On the first - rice harvest residue issue - I had asked the man who made a presentation for Dea's third graders when they visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) earlier this school year, if there was something better to do with this by-product of rice production than burning it. 'Of course', he said, 'plow it back into the soil to enrich the next harvest'. Seems like they could do a great service by getting that information to the farmers and getting it out of the research ivory tower. Seems like that would be a win-win-situation.
On the second item, Brentville fortunately has regular garbage pickup but many villages I've been through do not. I've seen them pile the garbage on the side of the street or wherever convenient and simply dispose of it into the atmosphere by the strike of a match.