June 5th marks the international day of environment. In Kabul, the last week was celebrated as 'environment week' aimed at creating public awareness.Kabul falls in the list of most polluted cities of the world and the environmental pollution has reached its climax here. The severity of pollution can be judged by the dusty air and garbage scattered everywhere in the capital of Afghanistan.
Three decades of conflicts, around five million people, huge number of vehicles, lack of greenery, poor sewerage system and government's unwillingness have turned Kabul into a dreadful place for humans to live. Not only the air in Kabul is polluted but also there is severe lack of drinking water. Studies show the water people drink in Kabul is not safe even for animals.
It is not merely the government that is recklessly functioning to address environmental problems but also the people. Outreach programs are deemed to have positive impacts on the mindset of people and therefore, are appreciated. However, the government should not rely on celebration of 'environment week' but also take measures towards a clean and green Afghanistan.
It is not so that steps have not been taken but those have been so minor as compared to the immensity of problems our environment is facing. National Environment Agency was established in 2005, the first Environment Law was endorsed in 2007 and since the end of 2010, in addition to Fridays, Thursdays are also observed holiday in Kabul to help the betterment in environment.
Nonetheless, problems have gone becoming bigger with the passage of each year due to lack of proper planning. The funds that have been available to the government of Afghanistan became the victims of corrupt and crooked officials.
The conditions in other cities of Afghanistan - Kandahar, Mazar e Sharif, Kunduz, Jalalabad, Hiratand some others resemble to that of Kabul. There too, the environment is increasingly becoming polluted. If no major measure is in place in capital, how could one think condition that will improve in provinces? There is pressing need to work for cleaner and greener environment. Gifting a health friendly environment to the coming generations of Afghanistan is what we need to work for today.