|Afghan Energy, Chemical & Mining Industries
resource for Renewable Energies, Irrigation & Sustainable Industries.
There are many ways in which manufacturing can improve in consideration to the environment. In the past little thought has been given to sewage, waste products, bi-products or effluent discharge into the environment without prior treatment. This has led to gradual degradation and poisoning of the water table, soil and air in many developing nations.
The present government must take care in its future policies to respect its environment by simply creating an independent environmental body run by professional scientists whose sole duty it will be to safeguard the environment against misuse of power, as has been the case in many developed and developing countries all for the sake of a short term profit.
Afghanistan does have a ministry of water where an environmental capacity exists in name only. Therefore it must be stressed that a comprehensive environmental policy be given precedence. All projects prior to approval, must have a seal of approval from this body.
There are many issues that need addressing, and some of these I will attempt to discuss:
The main problem is salary structure of the civil servants. They do not get paid very much. Then again they don't do very much. Most days are spent with the ritual signing in and then because there is no work, they leave their post. Then again with an average salary of $50-$100 per month one cannot expect more. The reason there is no work is because the so called decision makers cannot decide what to do.
Let alone the water there is sporadic bouts of electricity, which after 3 whole years still has not been resolved. If only some of the Billions that have been spent could have gone to rebuilding the transmission lines and turbines, then at least there would be electricity to pump the water.
There is no sewage system in the country let alone the capital. Most of the homes that were built have a run-off to a 3 meter below the surface hold. This dug out pit with no lining whatsoever holds the waste water and bio waste. In the old days it used to be cleaned out manually and the this used to be used for fertilizer locally. This still is the norm and is still being conducted, however most homes do not have any type of opening to this hold and therefore it has been filling up and polluting the wells which are adjacent.
Some houses have their own wells, however this is expensive. A typical well will cost in the region of $1500. But then you have the problem of getting the water out. In the early days one could find water only 15 meters down, however, now its more like 50 meters if not more.
There have been suggestions to build sewer systems resembling those of Europe. This is sheer folly as Afghanistan is not a wet country and the water required to move this sewage is just not there. It is wasteful to throw good water after bad. It would be wiser to have large built holding tanks for each and every home or building. Each building will pay it's dues and the government should be responsible to clean these on a regular basis. Not only will this cost less, but it will be more practical and quicker to install.
There is no incentive by the Government to get the people to use energy efficient light bulbs. Although good energy saving light bulbs exist in the market at $3,00 (off white resembling normal bulbs), many people find this too expensive and continue to buy to old ones at $0.35c. If we assume that there are 60,000 homes with electricity and assume that each home has 4 light bulbs at 100 watts. This would equate to approx. 24 MWatts per hour if all lights were used. If you change all these lights to energy saving light bulbs, then assuming the saving on one light bulb is 80 Watts, or 80% then the saving would equate to 19Mw per hour. This saving is equivalent to $3000 per Hour or assuming 4 hours utilisation $11,500 per day. This is $4,2 million per year. The cost of bulbs is $720,000. Now I say to myself, is there anyone that can think in this Government ?. Now if one outlawed the import of the other lightbulbs and the government just bought directly, this would be yet an added saving, say $1.00 per bulb to buy that would use 20 watts, but would have the same luminescence as an old Edison/Latimer/Brush/Swan & not to forget Sir Humphrey Davy Carbon/Tungsten Filament. With all this saving one can assume that most turbines in most Dams across the country would be repaired for free, but who's dreaming.
The following sites and documents will give further information