$1.5b to be spent on environment in 5 years: Ghani
In a radio message on the occasion of World Environment Day, President Ghani said pollution and unlimited burning of fossil fuels caused climate change and had harmful effects on human lives.
Ghani said southern Afghanistan had been in grip of drought for 20 years, resulting in a spike in poppy cultivations and criminal economy.
“The government has decided to observe environment week instead of environment day in Afghanistan to raise social awareness and tackle the problems of environment,” he added.
With climate change posing dangers to the health of humans, animals and plants, Ghani said Afghanistan could use the experience of other countries which had been successful in protection of their environment.
Preventing imports of low-quality fuels, use of plastic bags and providing potable water were challenges that needed to be addressed, he said.
He said tourists, who had visited Kabul four or five decades back, fondly remembered the beautiful weather and clear skies in the city. Now things have changed for the worse and the situation needed special attention, he said.
The president was of the opinion that schools, media and civil society could play a major role in promotion of environment protection culture and raising awareness.
Ghani said the government planned to spend $1.5 billion over the next five years on construction of infrastructure, irrigation networks and dams to protect the environment.
In another part of his message, the president said the government planned to revive forests and establish a green belt on 10,000 hectares of land around Kabul city.
Ghani urged the citizens to take part in protection of the natural environment as their human and ethical duty.
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