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Kabul; world’s most polluted city

By: Massouda Qarizada

Kabul air pollution has reached its highest level and during the dark night, when we look at the city’s air, we would understand how its polluted, while in the daytimes, the air is mixed with smoke and dust, causing asthma and respiratory problems for the citizens.
A hospitalized man aged 60, Faroq in the Ibn-e-Sina Hospital, where he was suffering critical breathing problem due to the outbreak of air pollution in the city and said that his condition worsens, when winter arrives.
Faroq who was hardly breathing told The Kabul Times that he has been suffering the disease for the last two years.
Not only the nearly overaged ailing man, but the hospital hosted many other patients suffering the disease as well as hearth problems and pneumonia – all originated from the outbreak of air pollution in the capital.
Dr. Abdul Wadood Bajavori who is busy in the treatment of respiratory disease affected patients warned if the government doesn’t pay serious attention in this respect the disease would overspread more and more and would turn into a big tsunami.
Eng. Nik Mohamamd, Head of the Enviornment Audit and Invistigation said between between 4000 to 5000 expired vehicles are commuting across the city, the dense smoke of which are badly the air pollutant.
Air pollution is a problem that can’t be overcome easily or individually, but the challenge should be jointly addressed, said Nik Mohammad.
Under the government five-year plan, the related organs should do their best to fulfil their duties in this respect, he said.
On the other, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in a meeting with the officials of the National Environment Protection Agency instructed it for drawing up an effective plan to prevent air pollution.
During the meeting held at the Presidential Palace late on last week, the president instructed the NEPA to install continuous air pollution measuring and monitoring facilities in Kabul as soon as possible, according to a statement from the palace.
The president asked the related authorities to meet every second day to evolve a strategy for curbing air pollution, the statement added.
In the meantime, senior NEPA official, Eng. Ezzatullah Siddiqi, presented a report on implementation of plans for controlling pollution and offered a number of recommendations for curbing the air pollution, including two holidays in the winter and a check on the entry of heavy vehicles into the capital.
He also called for raising public awareness on the issue, the use of masks, stabilization of liquefied gas prices to discourage the use of coal and plantation of saplings.
Amarullah Saleh the deputy to the State-Building Team also spoke about the issue, listing the burning of old tires and raw coal as main causes of environmental pollution, according to the statement.
President Ghani asked the NEPA to share its plan for the purchase of pollution-gauging equipment with the Ministry of Finance.
The agency was also asked to present its recommendations for the five most-polluted cities at the next meeting.
The President ordered the agency personnel to meet owners of brick-kilns as a major pollutant and submit comprehensive recommendations for dealing with the challenge in the next 10 days.
He also asked the resident of five more polluted cities for sharing their proposals on the use of solar energy and minimizing reliance on burning coal. The statement quoted the president to be stressing concrete pollution-curbing measures must yield effective results over the next three months. 

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The Kabul Times.