The Afghan capital with an estimated six million population is facing the 'worst' air pollution this year according to its residents.
A report released by an American institution last week lists Afghanistan among the ten cities in the world which have the most polluted air.
Unlike other polluted cities in the world, the air pollution in Kabul is a seasonal pollution. During the winter, as the weather gets cold, the air pollution increases in the city due to the use of low-quality fuel by its residents.
Air pollution in Kabul is considered as a threat, similar to the threat posed by insurgency, as both put people’s lives in danger, residents and experts said.
Kabul residents said people should apply some measures to decrease the threats raised by air pollution.
An expert said people should wear facemasks, wash their hands and face with soap and warm water after returning home and try to reduce the use of low-quality fuel to help in decrease of air pollution.
“People should wash their hands and faces after every two hours, because the particles of the polluted air are as small as they can enter their skin,” said Mohammad Kazim Humayun, head of planning department of the National Environmental Protection Agency. “People should take measures for protecting their skin. People should wash their eyes repeatedly after one hour and also they should gargle water to reduce the risks of the polluted air.”
“When we get up early in the morning, we wear facemask,” said Mohammad Yaqub, a shopkeeper in Kabul.
Physicians said air pollution causes different diseases and mostly are suffering from air pollution-related health problems.
TOLOnews reporter Tamim Hamid who visited a hospital in Kabul on Monday said the number of patients visiting the hospital in 24 hours crosses hundreds.
“My children got sick due to air pollution therefore I visited this clinic at 7am,” said Shah Wali, a Kabul resident.
“My daughter is feeling ill. I brought her to the doctor many times. She has not recovered. She suffers from a respiratory disease,” Husnia, a Kabul resident.
Air pollution in Kabul however is not the same during the day and night times.
According to the residents, the pollution turns worse at nights because all the people burn fuels for warming their houses. During the day, as the sun shines, the weather gets a little warm and pollution decreases, residents said.
“Burning low-quality fuel pollutes air, but what we can do when there is no other option,” said Abdul Malik, a Kabul resident.
“This is the most polluted air that Kabul has ever seen. Kabul residents are tired of this situation,” said Ahmad Ali, a Kabul resident.