Ayelin Initiative is an online awareness campaign aimed at the recent rise in air pollution in Afghanistan, especially Kabul.
We aim to gather enough support on social media platforms, so we can demonstrate that rising air pollution in Afghanistan is a significant concern amongst the population.
According to the 'State of Global Air' report in 2017, 26,000 people have died as a result of pollution-related respiratory illnesses. Comparing this with the 3,500 civilian death tolls triggered by conflicts during the same period according to UNAMA, it can be concluded that Pollution-related illnesses could escalate exponentially to a potential humanitarian crisis if the situation is not addressed imminently. (Foreign Policy)
Ayelin Initiative's key objectives;
Raise awareness about the current environmental situation in Afghanistan, especially air-pollution.
Recommend actions to the general public.
Recommend Implementation of policies to the Government of Afghanistan, which result in the direct or indirect reduction of air pollution.
Causes of Air Pollution
Air Pollution generally rises in the winter season in Afghanistan. Due to lack of electricity and rise in the prices of natural gas, the people turn to run electric generators, burning cheap coal, wood, and plastics. This results in a high level of pollution which affects the whole population.
In the overly crowded cities of Afghanistan such as Kabul, there are thousands of vehicles on the roads emitting high levels of hazardous pollutants. This increase in toxic air has a determinantal effect on the residents of these cities. As a result, many locals (mainly children) end up in hospitals with breathing difficulties.
Other factors which affect the level of Air pollution are
Use of low-quality fuel
Smoke arising from Industrial brick kilns near the cities.
Small scale smelting plants and foundries
Use of old tires, plastic, and other trash to generate heat
Use of low-quality coal to run central heating in winters
Other sources include pollution coming from bakeries, restaurants and wedding halls as well as power plants, and household cooking stoves
Just a 'like' is all it takes to support our cause
Photo Credit: Tahera Asa
Diseases Related to Air Pollution
Ambient (outdoor air pollution) is a significant cause of death and disease globally. The health effects range from increased hospital admissions and emergency room visits to increased risk of premature death.
An estimated 4.2 million premature deaths globally are linked to ambient air pollution, mainly from heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections in children.
Worldwide ambient air pollution accounts for:
29% of all deaths and disease from lung cancer
17% of all deaths and disease from an acute lower respiratory infection
24% of all deaths from stroke
25% of all deaths and disease from ischaemic heart disease
43% of all deaths and disease from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Source: World Health Organisation
Photo Credit: IVAN FLORES FOR FOREIGN POLICY