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Ghani to EPA: Devise pollution-curbing strategy

Ghani to EPA: Devise pollution-curbing strategy

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Dec 06, 2019 - 12:59

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani has instructed the Environmentinfo-icon Protection Agency (EPA) to draw up an effective plan to prevent air pollution.

Ghani issued the orders during a meeting at his office late on Thursday, a statement from the Presidential Palace said on Friday.  

installing continuous air pollution measuring and monitoring facilities next week in Kabul, which has become one of the world’s most populated cities.

The president asked the authorities concerned to meet every second day to evolve a strategy for curbing air pollution, the statement added.

A senior EPA official, Eng. Izzatullah Siddiqui, presented a report on implementation of plans for controlling pollution.    

He offered a number of recommendations for curbing the air pollution, including two holidays in the winter and a check on the entry of heavy vehicles into the capital.

Siddiqui also called for raising public awareness on the issue, the use of masks, stabilisation of liquefied gas prices to discourage the use of coal and plantation of saplings.

Amarullah Saleh also spoke on the occasion, listing the burning of old tyres and raw coal as principal causes of environmental pollution.

For his part, Ghani asked the EPA to share its plan for the purchase of pollution-gauging equipment with the Ministry of Finance.

The agency was also asked to present its recommendations for the five most-polluted cities at the next meeting.

Ghani ordered the agency personnel to meet owners of brick-kilns -- a major pollutant -- and submit comprehensive recommendations for dealing with the challenge in 10 days.

He sought proposals from residents of the five most polluted cities on the use of solar energy and minimising reliance on burning inferior-quality coal.

The president stressed concrete pollution-curbing measures must yield effective results over the next three months.

A day earlier, EPA spokesman Laila Samani told Pajhwok Afghan News air quality monitoring devices would be installed in eight to ten different areas.

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