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Blessed winter

Kabul citizens were cheering this week as the first snowflakes were coming down, covering the city after a long period. People were happy to see everywhere white by the ‘blessing of God’ because they were worried of a probable drought as they used to face in the past few years.

The seasonal rainfalls and especially snowfalls are considered as the only water resources in a landlocked country like Afghanistan from drinkable water to use for every other need.

Besides, most of the Afghan citizens are busy with agriculture and animal husbandry and are severely dependant on the seasonal rainfall and snowfall that are the only sources to irrigate the rain-fed hilltop lands and pastures.

Unfortunately, the lack of snowfall in the recent few years has caused decrease in the groundwater, while the population is contrariwise increasing in the big cities including the capital. Oil, firewood, coal and other materials producing smoke are also used by vehicles, small factories and public bathhouses more than past years that warm up the air, causing decrease in snowfall.

The water management officials have frequently warned against the shortage of water and even lack of potable water if drought continues and people do not care of water consumption.

People in Kabul still use an old proverb, saying: “May Kabul be without gold, but may not be without snow”. This describes how snow and water are important for the Kabulis.

Though the recent snowfall is very less comparing to two, three decades back, but is a good news for the people who are praying for an end of drought.

This is very important to be careful in the use of water as the blessing of God. People should use it as much as to solve their problems. Being inattentive to use water makes shortage of water and eventually the lack of this source of life in the future. This is also carelessness in the Islamic order that has forbidden the use of anything more than our need.

Officials in the water management department believe that the country will not face drought if it snows at least five times a year followed by enough rainfall in the spring. This does not mean that we are allowed to use water more than we need.

We are responsible for the next generations. We have to hand over a sound nature to them. They should not suffer from natural damages that we are the cause. They need enough water and this is possible when we are careful how to use it.

The government, media and schools should hold awareness programs, so that people learn how to use natural resources and how to protect them.

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