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Air pollution in Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan becomes most critical point in the world

A very high level of air pollution was recorded in Bishkek last weekend. Deputy Head of the Regional Office of the Department for International Development (DFID) David Rinnert posted on Twitter.

«Unbelievable, but true: tonight #Bishkek might be the most polluted major city globally, according to @IQAir .US AQI data at 9.30 pm local time (and Bishkek is not yet listed in the ranking as you can see), topping Delhi and Lahore,» he posted.

As the head of MoveGreen NGO Maria Kolesnikova noted, several sensors have been installed in the city that measure the level of air pollution by PM 2.5 particles.

«The sensors were installed by the U.S. Embassy. Their data is available anywhere in the world on Airnow resource. It is very popular. This weekend, Kyrgyzstan was the most critical point on the general map of the world, where the U.S. Embassies and stations are located. This suggests that the whole world, unfortunately, knows that the air in our country is polluted during the heating season; these data are available to everyone. What kind of tourism development can be discussed in these conditions? Who wants to go to a polluted city,» she said.

In addition, she said, the country’s authorities should inform the population about the high level of pollution and inform what measures should be taken.

«Air pollution affects public health. But the state does not inform us, does not say how to protect our health, why there is such a situation. There were no comments, no information from government agencies,» she added.

She recalled that about two weeks ago, the Director of the State Inspectorate for Ecological and Technical Safety Dzholdoshbek Dzhunushev said that there would be no smog in this heating season in Bishkek. However, the sensors are off the scale.

Maria Kolesnikova added that long-term and short-term plans have been developed to improve the air condition last year.

«Three weeks ago, we sent a letter with specific questions to the State Agency for Environment Protection and Forestry, but we have not received an answer so far. Some measures were taken, but we are interested in how they influenced the improvement of air quality,» she added.

According to the WHO norms, the average annual level of РМ2.5 should be not more than 10 µg / m³, and the average daily level should not exceed 25 µg / m³. According to the national legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic, the norm is 35 µg / m³. A one-time allowable concentration, according to MoveGreen, set in the national legislation is 160 µg / m³.