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Editorial: Silent killer

Unfortunately, the air in Kabul has been so polluted these days. At the beginning and end of the day, the amount of air pollution rapidly increases and thick smoke covers the city almost completely. It’s so terrible asserting that people breathe smoke instead of air and truly find it difficult to navigate without a mask. Common causes of pollution include low-quality, inefficient vehicles plus burning plastics and other unhealthy materials to warm ourselves, have caused us to realize the enveloping layer is thick smog of dirt and fumes. This is 100 percent harmful to the health and air pollution is considered as dangerous as war. Kabul is the most polluted city and for many Afghans, it is a potent silent killer. The ongoing deadly war has dominated and bogged down developments in other areas. Almost all the focus is on the war now, the government is riven by internal strife and locked in conflict with militant groups because it lacks the technology to monitor pollution levels in a city of over 6 million people. However, there were some plans adopted to curb the pollution, but unfortunately it remains on paper. Another big puzzle that is regarded as one of the reasons for rising air pollution levels is illegal housing in Kabul. Baths, restaurants and brick factories are also contributing to air pollution as they use poor quality fuel and raw coal. There is a need for heavy penalties to be imposed on them in a bid not to use these low quality staffs. The health advice is that we must wear facemasks, wash our hands and face with soap and warm water after returning home as it not only removes gems as a result of air pollution it is also highly recommendable against the coronavirus, a virus where Afghanistan has 53,105 confirmed cases as of today. Another 2,244 people have lost their lives to the virus and 42,666 more recovered. Sadly, air pollution and covid-19 both have turned the normal life of the Afghans to a difficult stage, and meager resources during the harsh winter are also another headache for the Kabul residents. It is catastrophic as about 2,287 people die every year due to disease caused by air pollution. This is also an utmost risk factor for premature death. We don’t have only terrorism as an enemy as air pollution and environmental problems cause invisible deaths. Kabul should not become a centre of old vehicles and the use of substandard fuel is prevalent.

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