By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: Addressing a ceremony marking “International Clean Air Day” in Kabul, Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danesh described air pollution more dangerous that COVID-19, saying Afghanistan’s 40-year-old war has a devastating effect on the natural environment.
The event was organized by the National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA) with this year’s theme “Our role in reducing and preventing air pollution” at the Government Media and Information Center.
The second vice president said air pollution was more dangerous than coronavirus and warned it would engender people’s lives if no measures were taken. He said the use of coal and other fumes to beat winter cold was among main causes of air pollution in Kabul and urged people to avoid their use.
VP Danesh blamed poverty, the war and a lack of funding as main factors behind air pollution and called on the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) to raise awareness in this regard through the media.
The second vice-president said air pollution prevention should become a culture and the media had a greater role to play in this cause. He called on the media to air programs for creating awareness in people towards their responsibility in protecting the environment.
VP Danesh said environment deterioration was a betrayal of future and present generations and its protection was linked to human life.
Shah Zaman Maiwandi, NEPA director, on the occasion said shortage of electricity and growing population made Kabul one of the most polluted cities in the country. He said overcoming air pollution would require elimination of all root causes of the problem.
Acting Higher Education Minister Abbas Basir said air pollution killed about three million people worldwide each year, but no one was paying attention in this regard.
He added that prevention of air pollution was not responsibility of the Environmental Protection Agency alone, but higher education, education, Hajj and Religious Affairs and other ministries had to help in this regard.