The Meeting of the High Committee for Prevention of Air Pollution was Convened under the Chairmanship of the Chief Executive

The meeting of the High Committee for Prevention of Air Pollution was held on Wednesday, under the chairmanship of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

At the meeting, first the Chief executive thanked the previous officials of the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) for their efforts and wished the new head of NEPA success.

Then, the responsible entities each in turn, provided information and reported on the follow-up decisions of the previous meetings and upcoming events.

The head of the National Environmental Protection Agency said that good progress had been made in the environmental protection procedures and regulations and that recently the clinical waste regulation had been finalized and implemented.

Shah Zaman Maiwandi also said that for the first time, they have purchased equipment for monitoring air condition in Kabul.

Pointing to the coming winter, the head of NEPA reminded of the increase in air pollution in Kabul and other city centers and emphasized on a series of preventive measures.

The members of the committee expressed concern over the import of Turkish heaters in the market and the illegal activities of the stone crushing in Kabul, saying that along with other factors, these two elements have a significant impact on the air pollution.

The NEPA officials complained about inattention of some of the private and public institutions to environmental protection regulations and laws.

Then, the Chief Executive directed NEPA to present the challenges and problems in details in the forthcoming meeting.

Dr. Abdullah emphasized on the shift in the activities of the stone crushing according to the previous decision and directed the Ministry of the Interior and other responsible entities to finalize this issue as soon as possible.

Dr. Abdullah also said that the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum should no longer allow stone crushing to operate in non-standard areas.

Kabul Municipality officials reported that brick furnaces had a significant impact on Kabul's environmental pollution, and currently there are 700 active brick furnaces in Kabul. Kabul Municipality emphasized on the standardization of brick furnaces in the capital's districts and called on the Chief Executive to help cooperate with them.

The Chief Executive directed Kabul municipality and other responsible departments to call the Brick Furnace’s Association and explain to them the problem of air pollution as well as the problems caused by their non-standard activities and then take the next steps.

In the meeting, the gasification process of the government departments and other institutions was cited as a positive example, and some public departments’ use of wood and coal for heating in winter was called a challenge.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive expressed concern about overuse of underground water and said that some measures should be taken in this regard. The Chief Executive also stressed on the construction of water reservoirs in some areas of Kabul.

Dr. Abdullah, emphasizing on implementation of the decided plans and programs, said that the decisions of the meetings should not remain just on paper.