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e-Ariana - Opinion, August 12, 2010

Another time bomb clicking in Kabul

They said the air pollution related diseases were increasing by an alarming rate and if the government does not take corrective measures in improving Kabul air quality the medical facilities will not be able to cope

Said Said

Afghanistan Constitution Article 15 states;

A street in Kabul in the morning showing air pollution
Kabul air pollution spreading dangerous diseases at alarming rate. (Photo: Daud Saba/Lemar-Aftab)

“ The state shall be obligated to adopt necessary measures to protect and improve forests as well as the living environment.”

Afghan Government has violated this article.

* In January of 2009 the Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health stated in a press release that 3,000 people may die in Kabul in a one year time due to air pollution. Subsequently, a state of emergency was declared by the government.

* On January 24, 2010 Bakhter News Agency had a bleak assessment of the situation based on findings from experts in Ibn Sina and Indira Gandhi Hospital. They said the air pollution related diseases were increasing by an alarming rate and if the government does not take corrective measures in improving Kabul air quality the medical facilities will not be able to cope. They stated a considerable increase in statistics.

* Additionally, the mining, transporting and processing activities of Aynak Copper Mine will further worsen the situation. It is anticipated that annually 10,000,000 tons of copper ore will be excavated, transported (2,700 trips per day of big hauling trucks), crashed and processed in Aynak less than 20 miles from Kabul. This will certainly put great pressure on an ecosystem that is already at the brink of a major disaster.

* The area residents right of knowing of how will this project affect their lives was completely violated by not openly having a through deliberation on the project Environment Impact Assessment ( EIA). The most critical question was not posed as to whether or not the ecosystem could handle the upcoming twin towers of air pollution less than 20 miles apart.

* In April 2009 the President was presented through a confidant a well focused technical paper ( Kabul Air Pollution Mitigation Through Clean Energy). This white paper if not a panacea was the best blue print for certain. The President promised to consider it. Like so many other promises it is not known will the government act so the Kabul residents be breathing better air.

Category: Healthcare/Environment - Views: 6879