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Insufficient budget hinders environment protection programs: NEPA

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA) counted low budget allocated to the agency, fast growing population and citizens’ negligence to the importance of the environment as the factors harming environment protection programs.

“The increase of population in the cities, poverty, insecurity, lower budget for our programs and shortage of professional staff are the main factors impair environment protection programs across the country,” said Mohammad Kazem Humaion, the NEPA programming manager.

“The government does not have a policy to encourage people for the environment protection,” Humaion said at a conference titling ‘Does the press do enough for environmental awareness?’

The program was organized by the Social Association of Afghan Journalists in North (SAJNA) with the collaboration of the Deutsche Zusammenarbeit German organization.

He added that the agency had presented several environment protection programs to the ministries of finance and economy, but received no response.

He said that most of people use coal and substandard heaters for heating their houses during the winter which help air pollution a lot.

“The government must prevent the import of Turkey-made heaters and must manage the usage of coal,” he asserted.

In order to keep environment clean, the government must lift gas taxes during the winter so people can buy it instead of smoky items, he insisted.

He said that climate change and lack of coordination among related organs could also be the big problem for the environment protection.

He said that Afghan people pay hidden cost due to environmental pollution, because they are affected by different diseases. “Also, people need to pay more for clothes, shoes and other necessary stuffs because of pollution and dust.”

The government must support encouragement financial programs for protection of environment in order to get more achievements in this aspect, he underlined.

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