Air pollution more dangerous than terror: Zahir
NEPA chief Mustafa Zahir, addressing a press conference, expressed his deep concern at pollution levels in some major urban centres in the country, especially the central capital Kabul.
“Environment pollution is more dangerous than terrorism,” he remarked, saying that media and civil society could play a major role in raising public awareness about the menace.
He recalled 12 years back people were not even aware of technical terms like environment pollution and protection, which the situation was gradually changed. But, he acknowledged, more work needed to be done.
He asked the government to prevent the causes that gave rise to the problem, such as fighting poverty, a stop to import of old vehicles and reduction in the use of firewood and coal for heating purposes.
For instance, he said, the Agriculture Ministry could play an effective role in distributing and planting seedlings, and the Kabul Municipality in keeping the city clean.
Without presenting clear figures about the loss of lives due to air pollution, Zahir said: “Around 3,000 people lose their lives each year due to the problem.”
A source in NEPA said the Ministry of Public Health had also been announcing figures for several years without any updates.
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