Sale of poor-quality beverages on the rise in Kabul
KABUL (Pajhwok): The sale of poor-quality and expired beverages are on the rise in Kabul -- thanks to their low prices. Health experts say the consumption of such beverages cause cancer and other diseases.
Kabul residents say the sale of such beverages has increased with the advent of summer. Carbonated drinks are mostly sold at lower prices by handcart drivers in the city.
Qais Azizi, a resident of the capital, expressed concern over the rising sales of spurious beverages and food items. In many parts of the city, handcart drivers cheaply sell Coke, Fantaand juices.
A juice box, costing 50 afghanis in the market, was sold for 20afs, biscuit of 30afs for 10afs, a bottle of milk worth 20afs for 10afs, he added.
The use of such beverages and eatables led to a variety of ailments, he said, adding the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) was responsible for collecting the products from the market.
Qurban Ali, who owns a food shop in the Afghan Store market, told Pajhwok Afghan News low-quality and expired drinks and food items sold rapidly due to their lower rates.
Ali complained the growing sales of such items had affected the business of shopkeepers, whopaid rents and taxes. But handcraft owners do not make these payments.
Qudus, hawking beverages on a handcart, said he sold a bottle of low-quality juice for 20afs while the original quality accounted for 100afs in the market.
“I am ashamedof this business, but I am jobless and have no money to start a better business. What else should I do? If I arrange the money required, I will open a shop right now,” he remarked.
Qudus previously sold high-quality drinks. When handcart owners started selling expired drinks, people no longer buys his beverages. “I am obliged to sell the same drinks,” he argued.
He asked the government to provide job opportunities for youthto stop them selling poor-quality products.
A number of beverage sellers did not allow this scribe to take pictures of the drinks. Others abused him or tried to conceal the items.
A handcart owner, selling Every Day milk, raised slogans to attract customers. He said they were not allowed to sell the product until they bribed police.However, he did not name anyone involved in taking bribes from him.
Another seller of the product also said police extorted money from them in return for permission to sell low-quality products.
However, 101st Asmayee Police Zone spokesmanBasir Mujahid rejected the claim.He said no bribery complaints had been lodged with him. No policeman had the right to do so, he continued.
Dr. Mohammad Hashim Ohaj, a health specialist at the Ohaj Private Hospital in Kabul, said expired beverages and food items kept in the sun were harmful and caused many diseases.
“Poor-quality food and beverages cause cancer and other dangerous ailments such as stomach, heart and elementary canal complications,” he explained.
He said many youths suffered heart attacks and young women breast cancers as a result of consuming injurious foods.
Some food and beverages are also advertised on TV channels. The advertiser claims the product is certified by the Ministry of Public Healthto dupe people, Ojhaj added.
In fact, he continued, the products were not certified by the ministry.He advised buyers to check the expiry date of the products, an issue some people do not care about.
Dr. Mohammad Idris Tokhi, head of environmental health at the Kabul municipality, confirmed the sale of poor-quality beverages in the capital. He said 48 tonnes of such products had been torched this year.
He revealed another 28 tonnes of such products had been collected and were ready for destruction.Tokhi said the number of expired products had decreased in the market and they regularly collected such items in all parts of Kabul.
He added the municipality had only four personnel for raiding markets and seizing spurious products. Four people could not check 300,000 shops in Kabul, he believed.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.