Kabul Residents Seek Measures to Reduce Air Pollution
Author: Asma Saayin
The use of coal for heating houses by some residents has been mentioned as a major reason for an increase in air pollution in the city. “People with poor economy use low-quality coal for warming their houses. They should be provided with qualified coal,” said Ahmad Elyas, a Kabul resident. "They collect tires, shoes and waste and burn it and this causes pollution,” said Suhail, a Kabul resident. Doctors said the polluted air has slightly increased pneumonia cases among children and if continued, it will add to the number of those suffering from cardiac disease patients and other illnesses that are caused by infections. “Air pollution has a main impact on the immune system and can lead to cancer,” said Ahmad Shikib Zaheer, a doctor. The National Environmental Protection Agency said the use of low-quality coal, plastic and other hazardous materials for heating is the main cause of air pollution in Kabul. “The worst air pollution has been recorded between 05:00pm to 12:00am, which are sulfur oxides, mostly in residential areas,” said Sayed Qayom Hashimi, an official of the agency. The Kabul municipality assured that those who ignore to install filters for the use of coal in their buildings will face legal actions. “Those houses that do not have filters cannot use coal unless they install one,” said Nematullah Barakzai, a spokesman for the Kabul Municipality. Every winter, Kabul city is facing a high level of air pollution due to the use of plastic and coal by households for heating.