It is said that as many as 3,000 people in Afghanistan lose their lives annually due to illnesses caused by poor air pollution, Tolo News reported.
However, recently 700,000 people in Kabul have been treated for respiratory problems in local hospitals – respiratory problems caused by pollution.
The ministry said that pollution can cause respiratory and heart problems as well as strokes.
Qamaruddin Siddiqi, an advisor to the MoPH, said that Kabul is not an appropriate place for living. “Air pollution should be tackled soon,” he added.
The existence of some pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide has turned Kabul’s air into a dangerous enemy of the people, said officials.
However, officials in the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) said that resolving the problem will not happen overnight.
Ghulam Mohammad Malekyar, Technical Deputy Chairman of the NEPA, said the organization has some long term plans in place to address the challenge.
Zakria Sauda, a member of natural resources and environment protection commission of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament), said: “Air pollution is a silent killer and is like a poison that we are all eating.”
Heavy traffic, increasing population and existence of small and large industries are considered as the main reasons behind rising air pollution in Kabul city. However, the lack of emission-control plans to tackle air quality has raised public concern.
Naqibullah Faiq, a member of health commission of the LH, said that air quality in Kabul city is like a gradual death that perturbs residents of the city. “Air pollution also affects mental health of Kabul residents,” he added.