Substandard septic tanks lethal to Kabulis health
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Kabul Municipality on Thursday voiced concerns regarding contamination of subsoil water resources in capital Kabul, saying the existence of substandard septic tanks were lethal to residents’ health.
The department warned if the government and people did not pay heed to the problem, all underground waters of Kabul city would be contaminated.
Over the past one decade, hundreds of buildings and townships have been constructed in Kabul, with the majority of them lacking sewage and septic systems, contributing to the dirt in the city.
Families also dig substandard septic wells or direct their houses’ sewages to the streams.
Population growth, increasing waste and a lack of canalization in different parts of the city have contributed hugely to the environmental hazards in Kabul.
Kabul’s population was estimated at one million people around three decades back, but it now has grown fivefold.
Mohammad Yasin Niazi, planning director at the municipality, said digging septic wells in different parts of Kabul had increased and they would hugely contribute to the contamination of subsoil waters.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News Kabul waters were already getting contaminated and this would be a huge challenge to residents’ health.
He said the use of these substandard tanks was tantamount to a mass massacre because the tanks were hotbed for various kinds of diseases.
He said the problem was especially acute in areas where constructions were ongoing without any urban master plan and were expanding.
According to Kabul municipality, around 70 percent of Kabul city is without a proper urban plan.
Niazai asked Kabul residents not to dig deep septic wells and instead build standard ones. He also asked water supply networks to provide water to dwellers in order to prevent possible diseases caused by water from private wells.
But a number of Kabul residents blamed the municipality for the situation and said they had no option but to dig substandard septic wells due to the lack of a centralised septic system.
Farid Joya, one of the residents, said the municipality was responsible for the contaminated water because it did not build the system in most residential areas.
“In the past, the wastewater would flow into streets, but the septic wells helped control it and the wastewater is currently not flowing into the streets,” he said.
However, Wahid Azizi, another resident, said substandard septic tanks were a serious threat to underground water.
He said wastewater from septic wells was absorbed by groundwater and contaminated it.
“Kabul has turned into a fetid and dusty city due to the absence of canalization system that also causes several diseases among people. Our people should not harm others by protecting their own interests, they should build standard septic wells,” Aziz said.
He said his house had previously a nonstandard septic well, but after knowing its risks, he made standardised and concreted it.
But Kabul municipality planning director Mohammad Yasin Niazai said the only solution to the problem was the creation of a canalization system.
“Unfortunately there is no plan available for canalization system and no efforts have so far been done in this regard.”
He also complained that some big residential buildings had been built without septic wells, letting the wastewater to flow into streets.
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