The National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA) on Tuesday marked World Environment Day in Kabul where officials said they are worried about the growing pollution in the city.
The officials said Kabul residents use four tons of plastic bags and three tons of disposable plates and water bottles every day.
According to the technical deputy head of NEPA, Ghulam Mohammad Malikyar, about 4.5 million tons of garbage was recently collected in the city and buried in Gazak area in Kabul.
Malikyar said if the prolific use of plastic continues in Kabul, there will be no ground left to plant trees and other plants.
“We will not have a place to plant a sapling within the next three years, because many open areas have either been turned into garbage piles or illegal buildings have been constructed or the areas have changed into business places. This itself is a crisis,” he added.
The theme for this year’s environment day celebration was “beat plastic pollution” and “if you cannot reuse it refuse it”.
“At least 13 million tons of plastic is thrown into rivers every year which affects the lives of the fish in the water,” Abbas Basir, director of South Asia Co-operative Environment Program, said.
Kabul Governor Yaqub Haidari meanwhile said the city has turned into a trash can.
He warned that relevant officials will be introduced to the Attorney General’s Office if they failed to adopt effective plans to overcome the growing pollution problem.
“The Kabul governor’s office will visit the courts and will take strict action against the Kabul Municipality if it does not implement a plan in this respect as soon as possible,” said Haidari.
NEPA officials have meanwhile called on Kabul residents to be responsible and to not indiscriminately throw out garbage and to take care of their environment.
“We have no choice. We must give a plastic bag to our customers whether they buy small things,” Abdul Wasi, a shopkeeper in Kabul, said.