Haze Safe Schools - Emergency Response

We will distribute N95 respiratory masks to vulnerable community members so they can protect themselves during the haze emergency.

We will also install fan-filter units (FFUs) in a classroom in order to determine whether these are effective tools to create haze safe rooms in schools.

This experiment will investigate a more long-term tool to protecting students’ health during future haze emergencies in Indonesia. 

Project Type

  • Technology Distribution


Forest fires in West Kalimantan, mostly caused by slash and burn agricultural practices, are an annual event. In the last week, during the period of 30 July to 5 August 2019, there were 133 hotspots detected in West Kalimantan (a major increase from only 12 the week before)1. At present, the weather is drier than usual, resulting in increased hotspot activity - leading to thick, dangerous haze2. The Regional Disaster Management Agency of Mempawah Regency, West Kalimantan Province, estimated that there have been 250 hectares of land burnt in the past eleven days and that fires are still burning3. Other fires have been burning in Kubu Raya Regency, causing 274 hectares of burnt land4 and in Ketapang Regency, with 0.3 hectares5.

Our local partner in West Kalimantan, Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI), reported a high risk of people developing Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Infeksi Saluran Pernapasan Akut or ISPA), an infection caused by inhaling unsafe levels of particulate matter in the air, due to the extreme haze conditions. They have reported that the school children have been instructed to stay inside and not risk going outside and being exposed to harmful, toxic air.

Together with WVI, Kopernik will respond to this situation in two ways: 

  • By distributing N95 respiratory masks (two types one of which is designed specifically for children) and providing basic health information as a first priority emergency response to affected community members. 
  • By testing the installation of Fan Filter Units (FFUs) with the objective of developing an effective tool that can create haze safe rooms for school children, that can reduce the students’ exposure to indoor air pollution during extreme haze conditions and potentially reduce the long-term health repercussions for children in affected communities.

Kopernik and our partners have already gained some experience in conducting experiments related to haze, particularly when we tested our ‘Haze Emergency Kit’ solution in Palangka Raya in 2017. In this project, we tested the effectiveness of a low-cost FFU in reducing indoor air particulate matter at a household level. Based on these experiment results, the FFU showed real promise. The FFU was also tested in a public school in Tangerang by UNICEF and partners in an effort to improve the haze-free classroom guidelines developed by the Ministry of Education (Sekolah Aman Asap or SAA v01). The current haze-free classroom design uses dacron foam, damp curtains and an aquarium as a mechanism to reduce particulate matter (PM) inside classrooms, which has shown a 28 percent reduction in PM levels. The Tangerang FFUs used with artificial smoke showed a higher reduction of PM levels inside the classroom, at 55 percent. We want to build on these results by testing this set-up in the current actual extreme haze conditions.


We will distribute N95 respiratory masks to vulnerable communities affected by extreme haze conditions. We will also set up the Fan Filter Unit (FFU) haze safe-room design in an elementary school in Kubu Raya Regency, West Kalimantan, measuring the following parameters both indoors and outdoors:

  • Particulate matter of 2.5-micron size (PM2.5)
  • Particulate matter of 10-micron size (PM10)
  • Room temperatures

We hypothesize that this design will reduce indoor PM levels by an average of 55 percent. This will be a higher PM reduction than that produced by the current Ministry of Education intervention and we hope that our findings can influence future reforms to improve the effectiveness of PM reduction initiatives in classrooms. 

To collect this data, we will install sensor systems indoors and outdoors with automated logging functionality that will provide us with daily information. In addition, we will also collect PM10 and/or the air pollution index of the nearest city from relevant government agencies.  


We will assist in protecting people’s respiratory health by providing them with N95 respiratory masks and educational material on other protective measures to respond to extreme haze emergencies.

Through our experiment, we hope to show that the FFU-based haze safe-room design is effective and can result in a higher incidence of PM level reduction than current haze-free classroom solutions, and we will encourage the government and other NGOs to learn from and adopt our findings.

While the haze happens annually, the worst case in recent history occurred in 2015 where up to 43 million people in Indonesia were affected, and more than half a million cases of Acute Respiratory Syndrome were reported throughout the region6. Haze free-classrooms can provide a safe environment (for 30 students during the school period, or for 20 vulnerable adults if the classroom is converted into a shelter) where people can avoid breathing dangerous air and can lessen the related health effects.

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Solution & Project Implementation

Costs associated with the purchase of the solutions tested and project coordination


Monitoring & Evaluation

Costs associated with data collection, analysis and reporting


Payment Processing Fee

Cost of transferring payments internationally, processing online donations (5%)


Administration Fee

A contribution to Kopernik's operational costs (15%) - waived


Total $15,536

Kopernik Solutions provided a sub-grant to a trusted partner organisation who is implementing this project.