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September 17, 2018
The Kabul Times

Climate change should be taken seriously

Considering climate changes and its impact unfolding in other countries and regions of the world, Afghanistan too is increasingly coming under the spell cast by this global phenomenon. Droughts, long dry periods, less rainfall and snowfall, sooner-than-usual melting of snow glaciers in mountainous areas and no mechanism in place to manage the barrage of incoming surface waters are the reasons for the persistence of dry conditions in large swaths of the country.

Addressing a press conference here on Sunday and touching the recent devastating floods in Panjshir province, the president called it as a natural painful disaster that culminated in martyrdom and homelessness of a number of countrymen.

Expressing regret and sympathy with the affected people, the president condoled it to all Afghan people, especially noble people of Panjshir and emphasized that climate change has unfortunately been changed to a serious threat. He added that for technical evaluation and studies, a joint committee of universities and concerned ministries has been set up to tackle the issue comprehensively.

The president emphasized that recent floods in the north and other provinces and this tragic incident indicate that floods management has been changed to an urgent national issue and essential measures would be adopted for tis management.

The president has pointed out one important issue that climate change could overshadow life of citizens. “Climate change causes change of weather and seasonal changes.”

Climate, weather and seasonal changes are in no case simple issues and have close relations with living conditions of human being, animals and plants and with every change their living conditions changes.

These changes have caused continued droughts that have managed to affect humanitarian, economic and social resource of the country and has caused agriculture which is an important economic source of almost 80 percent of the country’s population to be faced with an unprecedented crisis.

Meanwhile, rural population lose their continuing sources of life and migrations from rural to urban areas to be flourished, villages become depopulated and urban areas to be developed suddenly that would cause several crisis and numerous social problems.

Unfortunately, the very real threat of climate change and its deeply negative impacts on Afghanistan find no place in Afghanistan’s national and sub-national plans of development; not even at least in theory if not in action.

As per President Ghani’s remarks, it is important that the line ministries and organs should do more to develop a comprehensive plan for countering drought, flood, low rainfall and snowfall challenges.

Climate change is the defining challenge of our era. But an approach that includes a commitment to ambitious goals, mainstreaming climate change measures, controlling the country’s waters and cooperating with neighbors, could lead to real progress.

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