Air pollution releases quantities of substances including gases, particulates, and biological molecules that are introduced into the atmosphere. The effects of this will be climate change which will make it difficult to protect our health.
Many residence of Kabul are not aware of what air quality should be and what it is. However recently due to many outcries via social media and traditional media outlets, there has been an awareness. Recently, Air Quality Index provided air pollution information for Kabul.
Kabul has become the largest city of Afghanistan by population. Rapid urbanization has also led the city to be the 5th fastest growing ranking it 64th largest in the world. This is the first major effect to environment affecting the water and air. Kabul had the population of 350,000 pre-war, now close to 5.5 million. Pre-war, clear mountains, every season on time, limited transportation, proper waste management, agriculture and irrigation in Kabul. There were not many skyline apartments and Kabul municipality had strict rules on exterior designs of the city.
Today, mud homes with no draining systems on mountain starting from the bottom to the top, no proper sewerage systems, no vehicle mandates, combustion engines harming the o-zone air, due to high level of poverty the citizens are burning plastic, rubber and/or anything they get a hold of. Now imagine all of this evaporating in the air and mixing into the water.
Just recently a British army soldier sued the British Ministry of Defense for not being able to protect him from contracting Q fever in Helmand, Afghanistan. Al Jazeera came out with a report recently that over 3000 people have died due to air pollution in Afghanistan.
With all this information, what can be done? I would like to recommend three minor suggestion. My first recommendation to the government through the National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA) to work with traditional media such as TV and radio to inform the public of the current situation for awareness. Following, providing suggestions on what to burn during winters and why draining system is crucial and the effects this holds on the human body.
Second recommendation, to penalize home owners/shopkeepers that allow trash to be left in front of their building. Third, encourage home owners to plant trees and flat owners to plant native plants.
Following this, it would be instrumental if the members of parliament and responsible government employees at Kabul Municipality, NEPA, Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock initiated policy level discussions to formalize a new system for a livable healthy environment.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Reporterly’s editorial stance.