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Kabul’s pollution; ‘Use filters or face shutdown’ NEPA warns dirty businesses

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA) on Tuesday warned that all bathhouses, restaurants, bakeries and buildings which cause air pollution will be fine or shut down, if they not set filter system within a week.

Deputy of NEPA Eng Ezatullah Seddiqi warned that his office will fine or shut down those bathhouse, restaurants, bakeries and buildings cause air pollution and not set filter system or never changed its fire materials. NEPA has identified 434 different bathhouses, hospitals, bakeries, buildings and restaurants causing air pollution and asked them to brining changes in fire system or install filter system. So far NEPA has closed 166 different institutions due to ignoring the NEPA warning.

The rest of the mentioned bathhouses, restaurants, bakeries and building will have the last respite, if they don’t bring changes in fire system will face legal action, which will be included cash fine and closing. He called using of coal, some other substandard fire materials by houses, bathhouses, restaurants, bakeries and building, old cars, low quality fuel, dusty streets and lack of enough greenery the main factor behind air pollution. Climate change also has negative impact over air condition particularly during winter, he added.

Averagely over 530,000 families living in Kabul city, if each family burn 1kg coal, how much it will affect air condition, he added. Although air pollution in Kabul city is juncture not permanent, but since last weeks it is now better. He elaborated that beside NEPA struggle people, media and other related organ is necessary to overcome the pollution challenges. Cope with air pollution issue will take more time, so next year NEPA in cooperation with related organs will exert utmost efforts to seek proper ways and alternatives, he mentioned.

Health and Environmental Head of Municipality Mohammad Idris Tukhi said that condoling of burning coal in over 500,000 houses in Kabul will be difficult. He said only municipality transfer around 50 tons of coal ash, so we need to serious cooperation of Kabul residents to overcome with pollution challenges. In order to protect environment municipality transferred over 80,000 tons of trashes from Kabul city as well as planted 20,000 saplings. Pointing two vendors selling thins on the street and cause trashes, he said that municipality will take measure to solve the issue in future.

Deputy Head of Policy and Strategy Department of Ministry of Interior (MoI) Shah Wali Safi, while calling air pollution a silent killer and dangerous phenomenon said that police will cooperate with the municipality and NEPA in implementing law in order to have a clean air condition. The Interior Ministry had asked all police headquarters in 34 provinces to cooperate with NEPA in bringing positive reforms and protection of air condition and environment across the country.

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