Code 254090
PublishDate: Monday, December 6, 2021 09:52

Kabul’s air pollution a serious ‘threat to life’, say doctors

Doctors warned Sunday that the air pollution level in Kabul is dangerously high and that it was threatening the lives of many people.

Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_One doctor Mohammad Hashim Wahaj, who spoke to Ariana News, said: “Air pollution is a serious and dangerous problem in .”

Doctors and resident’s called on government to take measures to stop people from burning fuels such as plastic and rubber and get them to rather use gas or .

“People burn coal and other materials that produce smoke. That should be stopped,” said Mohammad Rasoul, a Kabul resident.

“People should use gas and electricity if they can afford it and avoid burning plastic and coal,” said Sohrab, another Kabul resident.

Kabul Municipality meanwhile said efforts are being made to reduce the level and that they have closed down a number of bathhouses, that burn fuel to heat the water.

Naimatullah Barakzai, the municipality’s head of public awareness and publications department, said that among the central heating systems used in the city are two that run on gas.

According to him there are at least 1,100 other types but these run on coal and wood.

said while the municipality would like more people to use furnaces and heaters, most of them are not able to afford it.

He said if the people had the money they would rather use “modern equipment”.

Kabul’s air pollution levels increase dramatical each winter as people make fires to keep warm. But, poverty-stricken residents often resort to burning toxic materials such as plastic, car tyres and coal to heat their homes.

In addition to this, the city lies in a valley surrounded by towering Hindu Kush mountain peaks, which reduces the mixing of air, particularly in winter when temperature inversions regularly form and with little rain to remove the pollution from the atmosphere, this accumulates during winter.

Afghanistan documented nearly 5,000 deaths attributed to air pollution in 2020 – deaths due to respiratory and heart diseases that were considered to be caused by air pollution, a health official said in January.

Kabul meanwhile was also considered the world’s worst last year and is on track to remain among the most polluted cities in 2021.

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