Our analysis of air monitoring data collected by the US embassy in Kabul between September and December 2019 sheds light on just how polluted the city’s air gets during the winter.
Pollution is killing more people in Afghanistan each year than armed violence. While efforts have been made to build environmental governance since 2003, addressing the health and environmental threats posed by pollution in the face of insecurity, high levels of corruption and with limited financial resources remains an enormous challenge.
NATO’s presence in Afghanistan included 1200 properties, from major airbases to small forward operating bases. Environmental oversight was mixed and the Afghan national authorities had limited capacity for investigating contamination or other forms of damage. Furthermore, the bilateral agreements between Afghanistan and major NATO contributing nations provided very limited scope for environmental redress.