KABUL (Pajhwok): Kabul residents complain of increasing environmental and air pollution, saying different ailments are on the rise in the capital.
The National Environment. Pollution causes diseases and even deaths among children.
Ziarat Gul, a resident of 4th police district, says he could not walk in the street due to dust and smoke. People rarely fell ill in the past but currently there are many individuals in every family, he added.
Sheer Ahmad Usmani, an inhabitant of 9th police district, also notes the growing number of vehicles and smoke-producing machines. He is of the opinion the government cannot control the situation.
Because of smoke, he says, citizens are vulnerable to diseases and the mortality rate has also gone up. He urges the government to address the issue with a sense of urgency.
Dr. Mohammad Liaqat Adil, a Kabul-based doctor, agrees many ailments result from pollution. He wants people to help the government ensure a clean environment.
Kazimi Humayoon, a NEPA official, admits air pollution has reached a harmful level due to an increase in the number of cars in the capital.
He explains the weather remains more polluted in the winter when wood is burnt in houses to keep them warm. A lot of smoke is thus created.
The NEPA official also refers to lack of familiarity with urban life and low public awareness. Many factories use coal and plastic — a major more pollutant.
Health experts say a polluted environment cause different diseases such as skin cancer, tuberculosis and others.
Farooq Azimi, a private university student, thinks if the government and people pay no attention to the environment, life would become more difficult in Kabul.
Shah Zaman Maiwandi, chief of NEPA, admits air pollution had reached harmful level in central capital Kabul.
Fast-growing population, use of low-quality fuel, high number of vehicles and smoke-emitting machines are major air pollutants, sending substances into the air that cause various diseases.
Air pollution has become serious in major cities, particularly Kabul. Maiwand did not provide details about the level of pollution but NEPA officials had said four months ago dust particles in Kabul had reached from 1,500 millimicron in 2016 to 500 millimicrons per cubic metre in 2017.
But the level is still very high compared to international standards. Bashir Ahmad Hamid, head of the preventive medicine section at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), said air pollution caused 26 percent of deaths in the country.