Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

“Connecting People to Nature”

June 5 was celebrated as World Environment Day in many countries around the world. The day was first designated by United Nations (UN) after the Conference on the Human Environment in 1972. The goal of the conference was to forge a basic common outlook on how to address the challenge of preserving and enhancing the human environment. When the World Environment Day was designated, the UN General Assembly also adopted a resolution that urged Governments and the organizations in the United Nations system to undertake on that day every year world-wide activities reaffirming their concern for the preservation and enhancement of the environment, with a view to deepening environmental awareness and to pursuing the determination expressed at the Conference. Since then the day is celebrated each year on June 05.
This year the theme of the day was ‘Connecting People to Nature’. It urged all the people to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and to think about how they are part of nature and how intimately they depend on it. It challenged the people to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship. Since, human beings have taken the nature and its beauty for granted and fail to realize that they are harming this important resource and influencing their relationship with the nature in negative manner.
As a matter of fact, earth’s natural environment has been experiencing certain degradation due to addition of excessive contaminants. These contaminants are basically the outcome of chemicals and products that are being invented and used with a great pace in the modern world. There is no doubt that the scientific inventions have blessed human beings with myriads of facilities; however, the improper use of these facilities and their mismanagement has brought them some evils, as well. These evils have the capacity to disturb our environment and introduce disorder within the ecosystem that is necessary for the life to exist on the planet earth.
Afghanistan is one of the countries that has been suffering from environmental degradation to a great extent. With the growing population and overcrowding in the urban areas of the country, the problem of environmental pollution is getting more serious. The air surrounding us, from which everyone gets his/her share of oxygen is getting more polluted with each passing day. Besides, as there is no proper sewerage system and waste disposal system the situation is deteriorated further. Even the latrine system in the country is not up to the mark and really requires great attention in order to be environmentally safe. The issue of clean drinking water is another great concern, bothering the people to a large extent. Burning of low quality fuel in the large quantity by every sort of vehicle, and burning of wood and coal for household and other purposes add dangerous contamination in our environment continuously.
The problem of air pollution is very much rampant in the urban areas of the country; especially Kabul city has been suffering because of this menace to a worrying extent. The air in Kabul has been announced as highly dangerous for people both by national and international authorities. Along with air pollution the land and water pollution in Afghanistan, especially in urban areas are getting serious as well. The drainage system in the urban areas is still not developed properly or it is left with serious deficiencies. The drains that carry the water containing waste material from household and other uses are not covered. Even in the capital Kabul, the drains are not covered. Rather they have become dustbins for the people. The people throw the wrappers, plastic bags, papers and other waste materials in the drains without any hesitation or humiliation. Most of the times the drains are blocked by the excessive dirt; and the dirty water flows out of the drains on the roads, generating disgusting smell and inviting different types of insects.
The same water then dries and the dirt along with the dust particles fly in the air because of the passing vehicles and the same air is inhaled by the passersby. Further, the ponds of dirty water are refuge for mosquitos and flies and other insects. These insects are really dangerous for spreading serious epidemics. And such issues are never dealt seriously even in the most developed of the cities.
The issue of environmental pollution should be dealt appropriately both by people and government of Afghanistan before it is too late. Any program regarding environmental protection should be two-fold. First, the government must introduce laws and the mechanism to enforce them. Since, the introduction of nation's first environmental law in 2005, no remarkable development has been made in chalking out the mechanism to enforce them. Laws, unless implemented, are of no use. Severe penalties should be charged against those who choose for irresponsible behavior regarding the protection of environment publically. Moreover, workshops, Advertisements, Debates, Lectures and other techniques for furthering awareness campaigns must be carried out, especially in the urban areas of the country.
Secondly, every individual must feel his/her responsibility towards the environment and must make sure that he/she does not become a reckless being and must prove helpful for the environment. However, extensive awareness programs in this regard can be really helpful. Environment is a collective and natural property of all the living beings and it must be protected collectively.