Parliament questions officials over increasing air pollution in Kabul

lovely-kabul-jan-615x3002xKABUL: The Wolesi Jirga (lower house) of parliament on Saturday, summoned officials to brief about the air pollution.

Commerce minister Humayon Rasa, Head of National Environment Protection Agency of Afghanistan Mustafa Zahir and Kabul Mayor Abdullah Habibzai were in the Wolesi Jirga to answer lawmakers regarding increasing of air pollution and trashes in Kabul city.

“If the air pollution not control, it will change to a serious health threat,” said Wolesi Jirga Member Mohammad Saleh Saljoqi.

He said that increasing of trashes and import of low quality fuel and gas are the main factor behind air pollution in Kabul.

Lawmaker Zakia Sangeen said that beside low quality fuel and trashes, burning of substandard material by bakeries and Public Bathhouses can be another reason for pollution.

She said that air pollution changed as a serious health threat for Kabul citizens.

Number of Parliament member while calling air pollution a silent killer, said that asphalted roads, low quality fuel, damaged cars, burning of substandard material by different factories and houses are the main factor behind high level of pollution in Kabul. They asked the related organs to exert utmost efforts to control pollution in Kabul as soon as possible.

Commerce minister Rasa said that control of fuel is the duty of Afghanistan National Standard Authority, which the ministry has no the right to interfere.

He said that refineries in the country has no the capacity to filter the fuel and produce fuel, thus it is required of government to directly import fuel 92.

Head of National Environment Protection Agency of Afghanistan Mustafa Zahir said that 72 percent of pollution is caused by vehicle and dusty roads, 31 percent by commercial and personal institution burning subsatandard fire materials, 12 percent by brick factories.

He said that NEPA has established a 10-year plan to protect environment in 2010 and sent it to all ministries, but it was implemented only by 20 percent.

In order to protect environment we must increase awareness by teaching a subject in school to protect environment, he added.

Kabul Mayor Abdullah Habibzai complained of lack of enough equipment, facilities and staffs in Kabul.

He said that our staff is for one million population but currently, the population increased to around six million in Kabul.

We need to 600 vehicles, but only Kabul municipality have 170 vehicles, he noted.

He said that Kabul municipality only had the capability to transfer 30 percent of trashes.

Kabul municipality work over privatization of cleaning program of Kabul city, which will be implemented in coming two years, he claimed.

He insisted that by privatization of cleaning program of Kabul, the problem of increasing of trashes will be solved.

Substandard canalization system and house, lack of greenery and lack of standard transportation system are other challenges, which Kabul municipality will hold efforts to address the issue in future, he underlined.


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